Recycle It, Don’t Trash It: 12th Annual RecycleMania Begins

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As the semester begins at Radford University, so does RecycleMania season. The university will again participate in the 12th annual nationwide challenge that ignites classic college rivalries and rallies students, faculty and staff to increase campus recycling rates.

For the fourth consecutive year, RU will join several of its sister universities in Virginia and more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. RU will report its recycling and trash data over a 10-week period, beginning on Sunday, Jan. 22, and be ranked weekly against its peers in eight statistical criteria.

In 2011, the university achieved a cumulative competition recycling rate of 13.25 percent. The College of William and Mary posted Virginia’s highest recycling rate—56.3 percent—while California State University-San Marcos was named Grand Champion with a recycling rate of 80 percent.  During the 2011 RecycleMania competition, RU recycled nearly 100,000 pounds of plastic, paper and other recyclables, while each student, faculty or staff member recycled nearly ten pounds, including four pounds of paper per person, 4.5 pounds of corrugated cardboard and more than a pound of bottles and cans. 

According to RecycleMania organizers, the contest’s spirit of friendly competition sparked important environmental gains in 2011. Ninety-one million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered nationally, preventing the release of nearly 127,553 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 25,000 passenger cars; electricity use of more than nearly 15,500 homes or the burning of nearly 695 railcars’ worth of coal.  

In addition to its many other recycling activities, RU Recycling has expanded its plastic recycling capabilities to include plastics with resin codes 1–7. Through its “Get a Charge out of Recycling” program, RU Recycling now recycles the RU community’s used batteries.

For more on RU's recycling and sustainability activities, visit the RU SustainABILITY website.