Last week, RIT completed RecycleMania, a ten-week
national competitive recycling event which has been
taking place since 2001. This was the first time RIT took
part in the competition, due to Recycling Administrator
Tyler Stewart’s initiative.
Having started between Ohio and Miami Universities in
2001, the number of universities participating has been
increasing exponentially every year, with this year’s
competition including 400 colleges across the nation.
There are four primary competitions; Grand Champion,
Per Capita Classic, Waste Minimization, Gorilla Prize,
and four targeted material competitions: Paper, Corrugated
Cardboard, Bottles & Cans, and Food Service
Organics. The ranking of an institute in these categories
is determined by the average weight of recycled
waste per student and the average amount of waste per
The recycling rates of RIT remained almost constant
before and during the competition. As far as RIT’s
performance goes, the institute ranked 15th out of 79
colleges in the Grand Champion competition, 5th out
of 151 colleges in the Per Capita Classic competition,
and 80th out of 87 in Waste Minimization. RIT did not
significantly participate in the targeted material competitions,
except in Bottles & Cans, in which it ranked
5th out of 136. During the competition, bottle and can
recycling was 1.73 lbs per person during week 1, and
it proceeded to remain at 0 lbs/person through weeks
2-8, when there was a sudden peak of recycling (9.79
lbs/person) during week 9.
Stewart remarked, “This was our first year in the competition.
We spent more time trying to get the data
right than actually publicizing it. I expect that in the
next couple years, we’re going to do much better. We’ll
drum up a lot of support for the competition.” He said
that he feels RIT’s performance can improve if students
are better informed about RecycleMania.