The classic 8 week tournament features eight separate categories based on the weight of recyclables (cardboard, paper and cans and bottles), trash and food organics. Each week schools report how much they collected the previous week and are included in cumulative results updated each Friday on the RecycleMania website. Schools designate when registering: 1) categories to participate in, and 2) whether to be included in formal rankings alongside other schools (Competition Division) or track their performance in separate, non-competitive display (Benchmark Division). Read more about the Divisions further down the page.
Click on the category below to learn how each of these classic eight week categories are calculated.
Officially Ranked Categories
National winners in these two categories will receive an award and be recognized in a press release at the end of the tournament.
Additional "Bragging Rights" Categories
Schools are encouraged to use these additional categories to highlight the ones where they have the strongest results. These "bragging rights" categories can be used to communicate results to local audiences, but are not formally ranked with recognized national winners.
- Waste Minimization
- Total Recycling (formerly Gorilla Prize)
- Targeted Materials:
- Cans & Bottles
- Food Organics
One Time Reporting Categories
View details about additional categories with unique one-time reporting structure:
- GameDay Basketball
- "E-cycleMania" - Electronics Recovery Competition
- "Race to Zero Waste" Building Competition (Pilot)
- Waste Minimization & Campus Engagement Case Study Competition
Competition vs Benchmark Divisions
Schools participating in the classic eight week categories are divided into either the Competition or Benchmark divisions based on their goals for participating and their ability to accurately report weight data. NOTE: The divisions do not apply to the special one-time reporting categories.
The Competition Division features the formal rankings that allow a school to see themselves alongside other schools in each of the classic eight categories. To participate in the Competition Division, schools must meet the following requirements:
- Be a degree-granting college or university located in North America offering primarily on-site coursework.
- Participate with their entire campus including auxiliaries and satellite facilities. See details, including exceptions.
- Be able to track and report data according to the standards outlined under Tracking and Reporting Standards.
The Benchmark Division is less formal and designed for schools wishing to participate at their own pace. It is open to any institution of higher learning in the world. Benchmark Division schools:
- Are not included in the official competition rankings nor are they eligible to “win” any categories.
- Are encouraged to report their recycling and trash weights as best they can but are not required to follow the official Tracking and Reporting standards.
- Have the ability to informally compare themselves against other schools in each of the eight categories.
- May include their entire institution or limit participation to a subset of the campus such as residence halls or dining facilities.