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UI Participates in RecycleMania 2018


Through recycling and composting efforts, the University of Iowa diverted 49 percent of its waste from the landfill during the 2018 RecycleMania competition, which took place February 4- March 31. The UI placed second in the Big Ten behind Rutgers and 37th among almost 300 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

RecycleMania is a national competition that encourages colleges and universities in the US and Canada to promote recycling and engage their campus community in activities that minimize the amount of waste sent to the landfill.

This year, the Office of Sustainability led events such as an online recycling pledge drive, a reusable mug giveaway, a waste audit at the Iowa Memorial Union, and a screening of the film “Plastic Paradise.” The Office also collaborated on events with UI partners, including a beeswax wrap make-and-take event with CAB, and a coloring book design contest with the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

More than 1,500 students, faculty and staff participated in RecycleMania activities. Each week random winners were awarded gift cards and reusable mugs. Buildings and residence halls with the most participants each week won RecycleMania trophies.

The 49 percent diversion rate was up slightly from 46 percent during RecycleMania 2016 when the UI also placed second in the Big Ten. RecycleMania has become a great tool to help spread recycling awareness and improve implementation of recycling programs on campus.

During the eight-week competition, the UI campus community recycled 594,686 pounds and composted 104,347 pounds of material - that’s the equivalent weight of 25 Cambus’, or approximately 49 garbage trucks of waste that didn’t end up in the landfill.  This also prevented the release of 981 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking 206 cars off the road for one year!

Complete results can be found at RecycleMania, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state, and other categories. Weekly results for the UI can be found here.

RecycleMania is part of the UI’s effort to meet its 2020 Vision target of 60 percent waste diversion.

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