With a new recycling competition on its way, Iowa State puts a newfound focus on sustainability and going green.
Recyclemania is a collegiate recycling competition managed by the National Wildlife Federation. Every year, the organization has the competition to allow schools around the nation to show their commitment to staying eco-friendly and trying to raise amounts of recycled materials.
The competition largely involves competing with other campuses to see who collects the largest combined amounts of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans on a per-person basis. The results are calculated by dividing recycling weight figures with the full-time-equivalent student, faculty and staff population of the school. Hundreds of schools every year take part, and it gives universities an incentive to grow efforts in becoming more sustainable while adding a competitive spin.
“We will report our weights weekly to Recyclemania,” said Ayodeji Oluwalana, recycling and special events coordinator for facilities, planning and management.
This is Iowa State’s second time participating in the competition, this time in the per capita classic category, and the competition will be as heavy as ever. Last year, Iowa State ranked 158 out of 216 colleges and universities that participated in the competition.
“While the competition is stiff with hundreds of schools participating, we hope to benchmark our recycling and waste reduction efforts against other universities and colleges across the U.S. and Canada,” Oluwalana said.
Over the competition, schools will go head-to-head in different categories based on weight of recyclables, food organics and waste collected. Reporting for schools will begin Feb. 2 and go through March 28. The rankings will be regularly updated and can help rally students and staff through promotional and outreach efforts.
“The goal this year is to considerably improve in the rankings at the end of the competition,” Oluwalana said. “And we need everyone's support to achieve this goal.”
Many schools will compete in all different levels of participation over the next few months in many different categories, allowing all of these institutions the chance to grow more sustainable practices. Winners of the national classic eight-week tournament and the special categories will receive an award and national recognition.