The University of Iowa is taking part in the 2013 RecycleMania tournament, the national competition in which college campuses compete over eight weeks to see who can reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste.
In addition more than 600 schools in the U.S. and Canada, the UI will compete in several categories to see who recycles the most on a per capita basis, who produces the least amount of waste and who recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. For a special category, the UI will track how much food waste is composted from UI dining areas.
The UI’s goals for RecycleMania are to be the top recycler in the Big Ten, and to increase its recycling weights by 10 percent and decrease its trash weights by 10 percent during the competition, which runs Feb. 3 through March 30.
This will be the first year the UI will compete in the formal RecycleMania competition, after being in the non-competitive benchmark division in 2012. The UI will submit weight data from its single stream (co-mingled) recycling program, food waste and trash each week, and will be able to see how they measure up against other universities on the UI’s Each week, we'll be sharing results to the campus, rallying the students, faculty and staff to reduce and recycle more.
Beyond the competition, we want to engage the campus community in reducing waste and increasing recycling. RecycleMania will a springboard to positive activities such as recycling education, conducting waste audits, and "getting caught" recycling.
Each week, the student groups and the Office of Sustainability will coordinate programs in the residence halls and across campus. There will be a different social media theme each week, such as how students, faculty and staff can make a difference in waste reduction on campus, encouraging peers to recycle, and understanding the culture of waste diversion.
RecycleMania is part of the UI’s effort to meet its 2020 Vision sustainability goal of 60 percent waste diversion.