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Steve Akers
Residential Programs & Services

Last modified: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IU Bloomington leads state in waste minimization in RecycleMania contest

April 20, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington ranked first in waste minimization among Indiana schools participating in RecycleMania, a nationwide competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction activities.

IU Bloomington generated the least municipal solid waste per person -- 37.53 pounds, including trash and recyclables -- of Indiana schools in the contest. Purdue was No. 2 with 42.39 pounds per person. Other Indiana schools in the division were the University of Notre Dame and Butler University.

In addition to being a fun competition, RecycleMania provides useful information for university sustainability efforts. "The contest has provided benchmark weight data that will be valuable to analyze as we seek to waste less and recycle more," said Steve Akers, associate director of IU Residential Programs and Services, who collected and reported waste and recycling data for the campus.

Recycle Mania

In the 10 weeks of the competition, IU Bloomington recycled 457,440 pounds of metal cans, plastics, mixed paper and cardboard, reducing its waste stream by 26.8 percent.

With more than 600 colleges and universities participating, RecycleMania 2010 resulted in the recycling or composting of more than 84 million pounds of material. North Lake College in Irving, Texas, was No. 1 in waste minimization. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy claimed the prize for most recycling per capita, and recycling category winners included Ursinus College, Johnson & Wales University-Denver, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Kalamazoo College.

Goals of RecycleMania include to have a fair and friendly recycling competition, increase recycling participation by students and staff, heighten awareness of schools' waste management and recycling programs, expand economic opportunities, lower waste generated on campus by reducing, reusing and recycling, and act as a catalyst for universities to expand waste-reduction programs.

Begun in 2001, RecycleMania nearly doubled in size each year until 2009. Last year was the first time that schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated.

RecycleMania is a project of the College and University Recycling Council, with program management provided by the Keep America Beautiful Foundation in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise program. For more information, including complete results of the 2010 competition, see