January 21st through Marchl 31st

This year for the seventh time, GVSU is competing in RecycleMania. What Is RecycleMania? RecycleMania is a friendly competition among college and university recycling programs in the United States that provides the campus community with a fun, proactive activity in waste reduction. Over a 10-week period, campuses 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.

The main goal of this event is to increase student awareness of campus recycling and waste minimization. All participating schools are required to report measurements on a weekly basis in pounds. RecycleMania provides many ways to gain recognition, including RecycleMania trophies, awards, and participant certificates.

In the end, RecycleMania helps all participating colleges and universities make achievements in recycling and waste reduction! This year RecycleMania will run from January 19th through March 29th.

Overall Goals for RecycleMania:

Have a fair and friendly recycling competition.

Increase recycling participation by students and staff.

Heighten awareness of schools' waste management and recycling programs.

Expand economic opportunities while addressing environmental issues in a positive way.

Lower waste generated on-campus by reducing, reusing and recycling.

Organize this event successfully so it can be repeated and possibly expanded to other campuses in the future.

Why Is There a Need for RecycleMania?

A number of universities across the United States have successfully operated waste management and recycling programs for more than 10 years. The universities participating in this competition boast some of the highest recycling and waste diversion rates in the country. Despite their recycling successes, certain on-campus facilities tend to produce most of campus waste. In particular, residence halls and dinning halls have been the largest producers of campus waste from 30 to 70 percent of campus trash. Data from waste audits conducted at these buildings suggest that up to half of all residence hall trash is recyclable. RecycleMania began as an effort to recycle more waste from campus residential areas. As the competition evolved, it expanded to allow colleges to participate with only their residential areas or to expand their scope to include the entire campus.

History of RecycleMania:

RecycleMania began in February 2001 when Ed Newman (Ohio University) and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler (Miami University) decided that something had to be done to increase recycling in the residence and dinning halls on their campuses. RecycleMania was born! RecycleMania has grown each year and now has hundreds of schools participating.


RecycleMania is made up of four primary competitions, in addition to four targeted material competitions. Colleges and universities can choose to participate in any or all categories. Click the category titles for in depth explanations of each.

Stephen K Gaski Per Capita Classic

Schools compete to see which can collect the largest amount of acceptable recyclables per person. This is the original RecycleMania competition.

Waste Minimization

Schools compete to see which produces the least amount of municipal solid waste (including both recyclables and trash) per person. This competition is intended to reward those schools that generate the least amount of waste and recyclables, emphasizing reuse and source reduction over recycling.

Grand Champion

Schools that participate in both the Per Capita Classic and the Waste Minimization competitions are automatically eligible to become the Grand Champion of RecycleMania. The Grand Champion is the school that, based on their combined results, demonstrates the greatest achievement in both source reduction and recycling.

Gorilla Prize

Schools that participate in either the Per Capita Classic or the Waste Minimization competition are automatically eligible to win the Gorilla Prize. This award honors the school that recycles the highest gross tonnage of materials during the ten-week competition, regardless of campus population.

Please help us win this competition by placing only non-recyclable materials in the waste stream. All paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, tin, and aluminum should be recycled. Thanks for your help!


10 wks of Recyclemania 2010 2011 2012
lbs of waste 622,202 651,398 424,667 lbs of recycling 227,442 318,740 244,320 lbs of compost 95,238 197,104 216,255 % of waste stream recycled 27% 33% 36% % recycled with compost 34% 44% 52%

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Page last modified April 3, 2015