Universities recycle thousands of pounds during RecycleMania contest – UE finishes at the top
The University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana recycled more than 67,000 pounds of material during the 8-week RecycleMania contest, which was sponsored nationally by the Alcoa Foundation.
In total, 630 colleges and universities competed in the nationwide contest, which is meant to bolster on-campus recycling rates. This year, 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered during the challenge, which prevented the release of nearly 270 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions from 53 million passenger cars.
Locally, Alcoa Warrick Operations encouraged the two universities in this challenge through the donation of recycling bins and a $1,500 prize to the school that performed the best on a per capita basis.
The University of Evansville won the local contest, collecting 15.45 pounds of waste for every student, compared to USI’s 5.64 pounds per student. The University of Evansville also finished first in the state of Indiana among the 10 Hoosier schools, and it also placed in the top tier of schools nationwide on a per capita basis, finishing 119th out of 630 schools.
The University of Evansville also finished 29th as the Grand Champion – an achievement based on both source reduction and recycling.
The University of Southern Indiana won in one state-wide category to see which school could divert the largest amount of food service organics per person.
Paula Davis, President of the Alcoa Foundation, said the program was a great success nationally, encouraging tomorrow’s leaders to focus even more on sustainability and waste reduction.
“We salute all of the students who participated in RecycleMania for demonstrating how much they care about the environment,” she said. “If every American recycled just one more aluminum can per week, we could boost recycling rates in the U.S. by 22 percent and save enough energy to power almost 300,000 average American homes for a full year."
Alcoa has set a strategic goal to raise the North American recycling rate of used aluminum beverage cans to 75 percent by 2015.
The nationwide RecycleMania is a program of Keep America Beautiful. In addition to the cash prize awarded to the University of Evansville by Alcoa Warrick Operations, top schools in each category earn “bragging rights,” while the winners of each are recognized with an award made of recycled glass.
For the full results of the competition, go to http://recyclemaniacs.org/results.aspx.