RecycleMania began in January 2001 as a challenge between Ohio University and Miami University, when the two recycling coordinators at the schools were looking for a way to motivate their student bodies to recycling more. The two schools decided to take advantage of the existing sports rivalry and challenged each other to see who could recycle the most. The first year Miami University came away with the win, collecting 41.2 lbs/person but Ohio wasn’t far behind recycling 32.6 lbs/person over the 10 week challenge.
The next year colleagues at other universities were invited to join the competition and RecycleMania has been on a roll ever since. Beginning in 2004, RecycleMania partnered with the US EPA WasteWise program to develop a website and provide administrative support for the program. Participation in the Tournament competition continued to grow with 93 schools in 2006, 210 in 2007 and 400 in 2008. During this time the Tournament has added a second division and grown to include 9 competition categories. The most recent 2011 competition included 630 colleges representing 49 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Over 7.5 million students and staff participated, collectively recycling 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered. This activity helped to prevent the release of 127,553 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E), equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 25,000 passenger cars, or the electricity use of more than 15,500 homes.
For more information regarding previous year’s results click here.