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National College Recycling Competition—Get ready, Get set, Recycle!
January 22, 2008, Volume 54, No. 18



The University of Pennsylvania has joined with more than 112 colleges and universities participating in RecycleMania, a friendly competition to help reduce waste. Over a 10-week period from January 28 to April 1, campuses across the country will compete in different contests to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.

“President Gutmann’s signing of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment last February demonstrated Penn’s determination to seriously address the issue of global climate change,” said Anne Papageorge, vice president of Facilities and Real Estate Services.  “Waste reduction is an important component of reducing the university’s carbon footprint and RecycleMania is a great way to draw attention to this issue across the Penn community.”

As this is the first time Penn has joined RecycleMania, the university plans to compete in the Per Capita Classic, which measures the amount of recyclables per person. Penn will report its total campus statistics, which includes all waste and recycling collected from all campus buildings.  According to Papageorge, the University currently recycles between 18 and 20 percent of its waste.

“This first year, we are focusing on raising the awareness aspect of RecycleMania rather than the competitive one. While much is being done at Penn to decrease our carbon footprint, we have more work ahead of us. This effort will help us determine areas where we are successful and those where we need to improve,” Ms. Papageorge said.

During the competition, there will be a series of events and activities (weather permitting) aimed at increasing student awareness about recycling, beginning with the Kick-off Week event, tomorrow, 10 a.m.-2 p.m on College Green.  The events are designed to encourage both recycling and waste minimization on campus.

“Recycling is not just about sorting your trash,” said Ryan Weicker, vice chair of the Residential Advisory Board and a member of Penn’s RecycleMania planning committee, which is organizing the event. “Recycling is also about reuse of materials. Our events are aimed at raising awareness around both of these issues and to encourage everyone in the Penn Community to do more.”

At Penn, RecycleMania is a collaborative effort between many university groups, including Business Services (Housing, Dining), College Housing and Academic Services, Facilities and Real Estate Services, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the Penn Environmental Group, and the University Assembly.

For more information on RecycleMania events, to track weekly recycling totals and to find out more about recycling at Penn, visit Penn’s RecycleMania website at www.upenn.edu/recyclemania, or e-mail: recyclemania@upenn.edu.

Nationally, RecycleMania is supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program and the National Recycling Coalition, and is coordinated as a project of NRC’s College and University Recycling Council. For more on RecycleMania, visit: www.recyclemania.org.


Almanac - January 22, 2008, Volume 54, No. 18