Apr 30, 2011

2011 College Recycling Champs Announced

The results are official! The 2011 college recycling champs have been announced by RecycleMania, and the universities of Maryland and Virginia came in first for their respective states. In DC, George Washington received similar honors.

UVa received the Gorilla Prize for the Commonwealth, with 653,880 pounds of total recycling collected during a 10-week period. The Cavaliers placed third among the ten competing schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and 12th among the 630 schools going for the national Gorilla Prize.

Coming in one notch above UVa both in the ACC and nationally, the University of Maryland collected 672,560 pounds of recyclables. And GW beat out competition within the District with 307,196 pounds.

“We did extremely well this year,” commented Nina Moris, UVa sustainability outreach coordinator for Facilities Management, “especially considering the number of schools participating has increased greatly since last year.”

RecycleMania was launched in 2001, as a friendly challenge between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on their campuses. The contest has expanded rapidly in ten years’ time and now spans 49 states, DC, Canada, and the UK.

As part of the competition, campuses compete to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.

This year, 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered, which according to RecycleManiacs prevented the release of nearly 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to annual emissions from more than 52.8 million passenger cars or the electricity use of more than 32.7 million homes.

And this is important because college-bound high school students are increasingly making sustainability a priority in their school selections. Nearly 7 out of 10 of 8,200 students surveyed by the Princeton Review reported that a college’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply or attend a particular school.

In DC, Georgetown came in first in the Grand Championship competition, while GW won both the Gorilla Prize and the Per Capital Classic. Catholic came in first for paper recycling; Georgetown recycled the most corrugated cardboard as well as bottles and cans; and American recycled the most food service organics at an impressive 15.06 lbs. per student.

Across the Potomac, Loyola University of Maryland earned the Grand Champion and Per Capita awards. Waste Minimization went to Hartford Community College, with Frostburg State University and Mount St. Mary’s University recycling the most paper and cardboard respectively.

And for the first time this year, RecycleManiacs added a national video competition, which was won by the University of Virginia with a touching love story.

More information and a complete list of winners (broken down by state and athletic conference), may be found on the RecycleMania website.

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