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RecycleMania 2016 Results: Think Before You Throw Out

By Brian Eisenhauer; For The Clock
On April 25, 2016

RecycleMania 2016 Results: Think Before You Throw Out

Brian Eisenhauer

For The Clock

bweisenhauer@plymouth.edu

From February 7th through April 2nd of this year PSU competed in the national RecycleMania competition. RecycleMania is an 8 week competition in which more than 350 schools from the US and Canada carefully measure how much recycling and trash is collected on their campus and are ranked by their recycling practices. This year PSU competed in 4 categories of RecycleMania: Grand Champion, Per Capita Classic, Gorilla, and Waste Minimization, and our results are summarized in the table below:

How do these results compare to previous years? 2016 shows our potential to continue to improve our recycling. In 2014 we recycled 35.56% of our waste, but this year our recycling rate declined to 27.19%. The Per Capita Classic measures the amount recycled per person on campus, and we saw a decrease from 2016 of about 3 pounds per person. Waste Minimization is an important measure for sustainability, as it measures the total amount of waste produced by a campus. In 2013 PSU produced 35 pounds of waste per person, which dropped 1.54 pounds per person in 2016. While the continued reduction is waste is encouraging, we need to improve our recycling rate.

Complete results for all 13 categories can be found at http:// recyclemania.org, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state, and other groupings. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials.

Recycling and RecycleMania are important parts of our sustainability efforts at Plymouth State University. In 2008 President Steen signed the President’s Climate Commitment, which committed PSU to being carbon neutral by 2050. As part of this commitment, we are required to participate in RecycleMania each year, specifically in the waste minimization category. Doing so helps us track our recycling over time, and draw awareness to the issue. The impact of this focus is evident in our campus today in the increased recycling efforts shown all over campus.

Brian Eisenhauer, the director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability at Plymouth State University, asserts that participating in the competition is beneficial for our campus. "We can all contribute to living more sustainably, and many of the things we can do are simple changes in our everyday living. Continuing to remind people about the importance of recycling is an important part of the effort to integrate it into everyday life as the normal way of doing things. Closely tracking our recycling practices against a national standard of other universities helps us ensure we are doing all we can to reduce our environmental impacts, and can help identify areas we need to improve." 

The Office of Environmental Sustainability would like to thank Physical Plant for making RecycleMania at PSU possible, as well as the efforts of the campus community. We look forward to an even better set of results next year.

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