2017 "Campus Engagement" Case Studies

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2017 Campus Engagement Case Study Competition! Unlike traditional RecycleMania categories that rank based on recycling, food waste or trash weights, this is a judged competition that recognizes schools based on the creativity and impact of their efforts.

2017 Winners

Education and Awareness Campaign 

Towson Univeristy's awareness campaign centered on “Waste Education”, which they promoted using the catchy hashtag #wastED. Egaging over 650 students, Towson hosted six tabling events throughout the competition featuring interactive and educational activities in heavily trafficked areas on campus. Each event included an opportunity to sign a pledge page in which students committed to some form of waste reduction (reducing, reusing, recycling, or composting specific items). After the campaign, more than 510 pleges were signed. In addition to the pledge, the team encouraged folks to use a custom Snapchat geofilter, which had over 16,990 engagements

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Waste Minimization

New to Purdue University's campus this year was a dining facility in which students could quickly grab pizza and a drink to-go. While this new option was a hit with students, it created a sustainability problem. The Department of Dining and Catering searched for alternative box options, landing on a company called Greenbox, whose boxes are made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials, completely biodegradable and can be ripped into 4 plates for consumers to use. In fact, during the second semester the Department of Dining and Catering ended up saving $1,228 on the 13,650 pizza boxes they used! At an average weight of 17.2 pounds per 50 box case Purdue's team contributed to the use of 4,695 pounds of post-consumer recycled product.

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Food Waste Reduction

St. John's University decided to run an awareness campaign during RecycleMania 2017 with the hopes of reducing post-consumer food waste. In February, SJU registered as a Chapter in the Food Recovery Network. SJU created its new “Full Service Organics” brand and invested in artwork, posters, signs, pledge boards, survey cards, decals, life-size mascot signs and raffle prizes. During the campaign over 1,000 pounds of cooked food from campus dining halls were recovered, donated and served locally to help eradicate hunger. In addition, post-consumer food waste dropped and average 150 pounds per week for 8 weeks. 

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Honorable Mentions



Stanford University used RecycleMania as a platform to encourage the campus community to "Be the Difference" to  meet the state’s diversion target. At Stanford, composting offers one of the greatest opportunities to reduce waste. With this in mind, outreach efforts focused on increasing compost rates and encouraging waste reduction through a combination of tabling events, student-led initiatives, Game Day Challenges, training sessions, and compost/recycling facility tours.  A social media campaign featuring snapshots of campus compost and recycling locations was also used throughout the campaign, utilizing the hashtag #thisiswhereIcompost. During the campaign, more than 1,300 online/paper pledges to reduce waste were collected, over 200 people signed up for voluntary composting and nearly 250 people attended the ten waste reduction trainings held on campus. 

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North Lake College’s campaign, Service Learning & Leadership in RecycleMania, involved students, faculty, staff, and vendors in events each week to promote recycling and zero waste. North Lake generated about 4.14 pounds of waste per person college-wide to win the Waste Minimization category. Approximately 165 students, staff, faculty, administrators, and vendor staff contributed directly to promoting Recyclemania and sustainability awareness contributing more than 320 hours during the 8-week competition.

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