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As Earth Day Approaches, Kent State Celebrates Successful Participation in RecycleMania Competition

Posted April 21, 2014
enter photo description
Kent State University students are “caught green-handed,”
using reusable water bottles, by the sustainability office
and students from the Environmental Conservation Group
during RecycleMania.

Kent State University faculty, staff and students collected 263,354 pounds of recyclables during the 2014 RecycleMania challenge, recycling an average of 33,000 pounds weekly. Between Feb. 2 and March 29, 460 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada participated in the eight-week competition that ranks schools based on how much recycling, trash, and food waste is collected.

Kent State’s per capita classic, or the amount of recycling collected per person, was 9.6 pounds based on the population at the Kent Campus. That was enough to retain the Braggin’ Wheel for a third consecutive year in an informal competition with the University of Akron. Akron’s per capita classic was 4.7 pounds per person.

E-cycleMania was held for the second year as part of the RecycleMania competition, where schools collected and tracked the amount of unwanted electronics, such as computers, printers, consumer electronics and other e-waste materials. Kent State ranked 44 out of 68 schools in this area, collecting 10,550 pounds of e-waste. A drop-off drive was held for four days during the month of March, where members of the Kent community could bring in their unwanted electronics to a central drop-off location.

RecycleMania at Kent State is coordinated by the sustainability office, which promotes recycling and waste reduction year-round. Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager at Kent State, says this is the fifth year Kent State has participated in RecycleMania.

“RecycleMania has been a great driver for improvement in recycling rates on campus,” says Knowles. “Each year during the two-month competition, we have more participation and see more enthusiasm among employees and students. I’m already excited to see what we can do next year.”

Other results from Kent State RecycleMania include:

  • Kent State placed 2nd in the state for recycling the most amount of material out of 18 Ohio schools.
  • The amount of recyclables collected prevented the release of 318 tons of carbon dioxide (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere; that number equates to keeping 67 cars off the road for one year.
  • In the residence hall competition, Engleman Hall was the winner for the fourth year in a row. New this year is the most improved Residence Hall, with Centennial A and B taking the lead by increasing 2.66 pounds recycled per person from week one to week seven.
  • This was the second year for a friendly competition among some University Facilities Management employees. Five custodial areas competed, with the Front Campus team declared the winners.
  • Students, faculty and staff were “Caught Green Handed” doing conservation-minded behaviors during RecycleMania by the Office of Sustainability and the student Environmental Conservation Group.

Overall, schools participating in RecycleMania collectively recovered 89.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic material.

While the eight-week contest is a good time for students, faculty and staff to be mindful to reduce, reuse and recycle, Knowles says the key is to continue the recycling habit throughout the year.

She reminds everyone that recycling on the Kent Campus is easy because it is single stream, which means plastic containers, (now accepting #1 through #7), glass, aluminum, paper, paperboard and corrugated cardboard, can all go in the same recycling container, indoors or outdoors.

To honor the winners of the Hall vs. Hall Competition and the Most Improved in the Residence Hall RecycleMania Challenge, a tree planting will take place Thursday, April 24, at 3 p.m. outside Centennial A and B.

For more information about Kent State’s recycling program, visit www.kent.edu/sustainability/index.cfm.

Complete results for all 11 RecycleMania categories can be found on http://recyclemania.org, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state and other groupings.