RecycleMania is open for all secondary institutions of higher learning to participate. Though oriented toward colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, secondary institutions anywhere in the world are welcome. Certain types of participation are restricted based on a school's ability to track and report required recycling and trash weight data, as defined below. There is no cost to participate in RecycleMania.
K-12 schools are not included in RecycleMania, but are encouraged to participate in a similar program, Recycle-Bowl.
RecycleMania offers different levels of participation. Depending on a school's goals and it's ability to track and report weight data, they can participate in any or all levels:
Ranked Eight Week Categories
The "classic" tournament that most schools participate in. Schools report weight of recyclables and other materials each week and are featured in regularly updated rankings throughout February and March. Schools are ranked and national winners designated for the Diversion and Per Capita Classic categories.
One Time Reporting Categories
National winners are designated for the following categories, which are based on reporting results on a single occasion at the end of the tournament.
- GameDay Basketball Competition based on recycling and diversion at a single home game event.
- "E-cycleMania" - Electronics Recovery Competition
Ranking based on collection of scrap electronics over one-month period.
- "Race to Zero Waste" Building Competition (Pilot)
Based on comprehensive effort to reduce, reuse and recover the greatest amount of waste from a designated building.
- Campus Engagement Case Study Competition
Judged competition that recognizes schools based on a campaign to engage a campus audience on a targeted waste minimization goal.