University of Rochester

Sustainability Home

Sustainability @ the
University of Rochester

Recyclemania: Recycle Right into Spring!

March 2011

Recycle Mania 2011

The month of March has finally arrived and has brought with it a great feeling of excitement on campus. It is around this time of year in Rochester that spirits start to lift along with the temperature. But aside from the inevitable onset of spring, we have even more to be excited about, and that is the halfway point of Recyclemania

To keep us in the running of this prestigious inter-collegiate competition, Facilities staff have been working with our waste hauler to collect our campus recycling and solid waste data since the end of January. Over 500 schools are participating over the course of ten weeks in five different categories: 

  1. Grand Champion: For the school with the highest recycling as a percentage of waste generated.
  2. Stephen K Gaski Per Capita Classic: For the school that collects the largest amount of recycling per person.
  3. Waste Minimization:  For the school that produces the least amount of trash and recyclables per person.
  4. Gorilla Prize:  For the school that recycles the most paper, cardboard, bottles and cans overall.
  5. Targeted Materials: Functions similarly to the Per Capita Classic, but is broken down into four separate targeted material categories for Paper, Corrugated Cardboard, Cans and Bottles and Food Service Organics.

Plenty of activities have been happening in promotion of the competition. You may have seen the many educational posters throughout campus as well as the banner hanging in Wilson Commons. The student group Grassroots has been creating enthusiasm by holding a kickoff social event, raffles, and a table with a trivia wheel game. A weekly trivia contest is also being held in the Weekly Buzz, offering prizes to winners. A few weeks ago, students took a closer look at where our recycling goes by touring the Monroe County Recycling Center.

But if you have missed celebration thus far, the fun is hardly over. Keep your eyes peeled for the annual “Mt. Trashmore” event, happening on Thursday, March 31st. Student volunteers will haul all the trash produced in Rush Rhees Library, Wilson Commons, and Douglas into a big heap outside Wilson Commons to show everyone how much waste we collectively produce in one day just from those three buildings. See if you can’t spot some recyclables in there!

Also, look out for Grassroots’ Water Week starting March 13th. They will be tabling in Wilson Commons each day of the week and culminating with a day of fun activities on March 19th, including reusable water bottle decorating, water taste tests, a raffle, and t-shirt silk screening. Using reusable water bottles is easy at UR with our refill stations placed conveniently throughout campus.

So, where do we stand at this halfway point in the competition? The University of Rochester currently ranks 24th place out of 350 schools in the Gorilla Prize, and out of the 23 schools competing in New York State, we are in third place!! That is something to be proud of. We are also doing well in the Per Capita Classic category, ranking 41 out of 350, and for the Targeted Materials categories we are at 28 out of 213 for Paper, 20 out of 220 for Cardboard and  25 out of 207 for Bottles and Cans. Let’s keep kicking some cans!

For updates on Go Green articles and to stay in the loop of other information, “like” the UR Sustainable page on facebook: