As the February 4th registration deadline approaches, universities and colleges across North America are gearing up for the 16th annual RecycleMania competition.
Is your university or college participating?
If you haven’t already registered, here are 7 great reasons to join over 400 of your colleagues from across North America:
1. Direct impact on your recycling rate
Over half of campuses surveyed in any given year report a noticeable increase in recycling that is directly attributable to the school’s participation in the competition. This fact is supported by post-competition results which show the overall recycling rate typically increases from the first half of the competition to the second.
In 2011, the overall recycling rate increased from 24.37% to 27.79%
2. Get noticed (in a good way!)
Participation can also benefit college recycling programs by bringing attention to the importance of waste diversion. Increased awareness often leads to an allocation of additional resources that can be used to expand diversion efforts. As many as 75% of surveyed campus program coordinators have stated that their participation in RecycleMania drew the attention of campus administrators. As many as one quarter of respondents have credited their participation for the increase in support to expand collection and education efforts.
3. Harness the power of school spirit
RecycleMania seeks to tap into school spirit as a means of influencing students who may not otherwise respond to environmental messages. We all recognize that everyone has a preferred learning style so why not add RecycleMania to your recycling outreach strategy?
4. Make a lasting difference in a student’s life
Participating in a group event can have a positive impact on your students’ lives. RecycleMania reinforces the practice of recycling at an age when many students are forming habits and values that they will carry for the rest of their lives.
5. You don’t have to start from scratch
After 15 successful years of competition, the folks at RecycleMania have developed resources and guides to simplify participation and guide coordinators in planning a successful campaign. Print-ready files for posters, social media cover images, scorecards, and strategy guides are just some of the tools you can download to make your participation a success.
6. Leverage existing campus events
Use volunteers to publicize RecycleMania while picking up recyclables at sport games, fundraisers, or fairs. For example, during Ohio University basketball games, 15 to 25 volunteers pair up to take responsibility for the collection of recyclables and trash from sections of the basketball arena.
7. Encourage data-driven decisions
One of the key components to the competition is collecting recycling and trash measurements. Whether you participate in the Competition or Benchmark division, you’ll want to develop a strong plan and determine how you’ll collect the material weights you’ll need to participate. Many colleges and universities identify areas for improvement by initiating discussions about the weights of materials. Resolving issues related to double counting, missed waste streams, or improper handling of specific commodities will result in a better RecycleMania ranking, can improve your recycling rate, and save the institution money for years to come.