RecycleMania hits UW­­–Madison

January 31, 2013

For the first time, the UW–Madison community will participate in the nationwide RecycleMania competition against more than 300 other colleges and universities.

The eight-week tournament, starting on Sunday, Feb. 3 and ending on Saturday, March 30, seeks to increase environmental awareness, and encourage students to recycle properly.

Image: RecycleMania logo


The UW–Madison Office of Sustainability and We Conserve are asking the campus community to be more aware of the waste we produce and take measures to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Recyclemania’s aim is that with a little friendly competition rallying school spirit, colleges and universities nationwide will realize their impact on the environment and the big difference reducing waste by recycling can make.

Staring on Jan. 20 and continuing for two weeks, trash and recycling are collected and weighed. This establied a baseline of the amount of trash and recycling the university produces.

The five things measured are: paper, cardboard, commingled recyclables (glass, plastic, and aluminum), compost and trash.

Once RecycleMania begins, each week the recycling and trash will be collected, weighed and then compared to baseline numbers. RecycleMania’s goal is to increase the amount of materials recycled and decrease the amount of trash.

At the end of the tournament, universities will be recognized and awarded in four ways: a per-capita prize, a waste-minimization prize, a gorilla prize (for the larger universities) and an overall grand prize.

Here are some suggestions from organizers for the campus community during the event:

  • Recycle: By making sure your recyclables find their way into their proper bins, you are helping to ensure these items will be recycled and not end up in a landfill.
  • Compost: There are many places on campus that offer composting, such as Chadbourne Residential College, the new Gordon Commons, and the Dejope Residence Hall. Twenty percent of trash is food waste and by composting apple cores, banana peels and stale bread, people can help reduce landfill-bound waste.
  • Encourage others to participate.

– By Stephanie Bugasch