Kent State Celebrates Successful Participation in RecycleMania Competition; E-Inside; June 15, 2015
Kent State University faculty, staff and students collected 497,134 pounds of recyclables during the 2015 RecycleMania challenge, recycling an average of 62,142 pounds weekly. Between Feb. 1 and March 28, more than 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada participated in the eight-week competition that ranks schools based on how much recycling, trash and food waste is collected.
Kent State had a recycling rate of 34.5 percent for 2015, an 11.5 percent increase from last year. Kent State also took second place in all of the main categories of RecycleMania (Grand Champion, Per Capita Classic, Gorilla and Waste Minimization) in the Mid-American Conference.
Kent State placed in the top 25 percent in the nation for per capita classic, the amount recycled per person on campus, with 16.5 pounds based on the population at the Kent Campus. That was also enough for Kent State to retain the Braggin’ Wheel for the fourth consecutive year in the informal competition with the University of Akron. The University of Akron’s per capita classic was 4.2 pounds per person.
E-cycleMania was held for the third year in a row as a part of the RecycleMania competition, where schools collected and tracked the amount of recycled electronics, such as computers, printers, cameras, and other e-waste materials. Kent State recycled a total of 9,781 pounds of electronics over a 30-day period, including 2,150 pounds from the Kent community. A drop-off drive was held for two days during March, where faculty, staff, students and the Kent community could bring their unwanted electronics to Administrative Services loading dock.
Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager at Kent State, along with Kent State’s Office of Sustainability, coordinated RecycleMania for the university for the sixth year in a row.
“We saw a significant increase in what was recycled during this year’s RecycleMania,” says Knowles. “When the mindful individuals on our campuses joined together and took action, we were very powerful.”
Other results from the Kent State RecycleMania include:
Kent State placed fourth in the state for recycling the largest amount of material out of 20 Ohio schools.
By recycling 497,139 pounds, Kent State prevented the release of 704 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E), which is equal to removing 148 cars from the road for one year.
Kent State came in eighth place out of large schools in the new RecycleMania 3R Actions Challenge, a social media challenge competition encouraging students to not only recycle, but to share their actions via Twitter or a special mobile app. Students completed 172 actions that contributed to reducing, reusing or recycling on campus. Overall, Kent State placed 24th out of 104 schools competing in the 3R Actions Challenge.
In the Residence Hall Challenge, Engleman Hall was the winner for the fifth year in a row. The hall has the highest diversion rate of 62 percent and was first place in pounds recycled per person.
The Custodial Area Competition was held for the third year in a row among employees at University Facilities Management. Custodial Area 5 was declared the winner with the highest diversion rate of 55.4 percent.
Overall, participating schools in RecycleMania collectively recycled or composted 80.1 million pounds of recyclables or organic materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere.
“It may feel insignificant putting one plastic bottle in a recycling bin and, in fact, one person’s efforts can’t solve an environmental crisis,” Knowles says. “But, we can do it as a team. Our residence halls became teams that made a difference and raised Kent State in the overall RecyleMania standings.”
To celebrate the winners of the Hall vs. Hall Competition in the Residence Hall Competition, an Arbor Day tree planting took place on Monday, April 21, outside Stopher and Johnson halls.
Complete results for all 13 RecycleMania categories can be found at http://recyclemania.org, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state and other groupings.
For more information about Kent State’s recycling program, visit www.kent.edu/sustainability.