Monday, November 13, 2006 - 12:00pm

RecycleMania is a 10-week long friendly competition among college and university recycling programs in the United States. During this 10-week period, participating schools compete to collect the largest amount of recyclables [mixed paper, bottles and cans, and cardboard] and the least amount of trash, and have the highest recycling rate. Over the past three years, Mount Holyoke has participated in RecycleMania. This year, Mount Holyoke returned to the competition, which ran January 27th, 2008 through April 5th, 2008. Participants in RecycleMania 2008 included 400 schools representing 46 states.

There are 3 categories in the national contest:

Per Capita Classic Competition
In this competition schools are competing to see which can collect the largest amount of recyclables per person. In 2008, MHC placed 35th out of 180 total schools, with 26.73 pounds of recyclables per person.

Waste Minimization
In this competition schools are competing to see which generates the least amount of solid waste per person. In 2008, MHC placed 63rd out of 95 contenders, with 92.27 total pounds of waste generated per person. This is a reduction of over 13 pounds per person.

The Grand Championship
This figure is based on combined results from the Per Capita Classic and Waste Minimization competitions, demonstrates the greatest achievement in both source reduction and recycling. In 2008, MHC placed 30th out of 88 schools, with a 29.97% Overall Recycling Rate.

Did you know, in addition to conserving natural resources, waste prevention and recycling help address global climate change by decreasing the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced by the manufacture, distribution, and use of products? EPA estimates that simply increasing the national recycling rate from its current level of 30 percent to 35 percent would reduce GHG emissions by an additional 10 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE). That amount is equal to the average annual emissions from the electricity consumed by roughly 4.6 million households.

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