RecycleMania stirs up competition


RecycleMania is back for a sixth time at SDSU. Headed by the Student Sustainability Council, the nationwide competition is an eight-week battle to see who can recycle the most items, calculated by their weight. 

This is SDSU’s second year in the actual RecyleMania competition. During the other four years, SDSU was put on a benchmark competition to see if SDSU wanted to commit to the program.

“Here at SDSU this year, we’re going to have a little competition between the residence halls to see who can recycle the most,” said president of the Student Sustainability Council Jennifer McLaughlin. 

Residence Halls will have their own competition to see which hall can recycle the most items.

After the students put their recyclables in the designated areas on their floor, the recycling is taken out and Bookings Dumpster Service takes all the garbage, separates the recycling from the other waste in ways the amount of cardboard, bottles, cans and other single stream items.

After Brookings Dumpster Service weighs the recycling, they send the information back to McLaughlin, which then she plugs the information into Retrac, a piece of software that is working with the RecycleMania tournament.

“Last year we were in five of the competing categories, the grand champion, per capita, gorilla, a waste minimization and a food service recycling competition” said Jenny Kindt, an adviser for the RecyleMania competition. 

According to the RecycleMania homepage, the competition started back in January 2001 as a challenge between Ohio University and Miami University. This competition has had a domino effect in the academia world, spreading to over 523 competing colleges and universities in 2013.

“This year they [RecycleMania] have added a couple of different categories: film plastics and electronics. But at this point we haven’t signed up for it,” Kindt said.

SDSU currently is placed 159 out of 227 for the Grand Champion. This category combines the trash and recycling ratio and competes to see who is recycling more than throwing things away.  The highest rank is 18 out of 108 contestants in recycling bottles and cans. SDSU currently places 32 out of 119 and is 116 out of 292 in the gorilla category. SDSU is placed in four other categories as well. 

Per capita classic is the original part of the competition. This category shows which schools can collect the largest amount of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans per person. Another category was the minimization category, which shows the schools that are producing the least amount of recyclables and trash on a per person basis. The last category of the main competition is the food-service organics. This category looks at how much food is wasted and any other organic material handed alongside the food waste that is generated in the faculty offices and residence hall setting.