The competition is supported by Keep American Beautiful, and it runs from Feb. 3 through March 30. Participants are ranked based on the highest percentage of waste diverted from landfills. RecycleMania’s mission is to motivate students, staff and faculty at universities to recycle more and reduce waste.
One of the greatest potentials of RecycleMania is the collection and reporting of data. Schools participating must acquire weights or weight estimates for both trash and recycling to compete in the Grand Championship.
This year, a UNT student group, the RecycleManiacs, has volunteered to work throughout the competition to conduct trash audits and help the university assess its waste diversion rate, which is the percentage of solid waste diverted from landfills.
“Knowing how the volume changes throughout the competition will tell us a lot, including what kinds of items are being thrown away on campus, and whether some dumpsters don’t need to be picked up as often as others,” said Nicole Cocco, outreach coordinator for the UNT Office of Sustainability.
UNT has robust recycling programs, and each year the university recycles more than 360 tons of paper and cardboard, nearly 5,000 pounds of cans and 600,000 plastic bottles.