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EPA Salutes RecycleMania Winners - University of Charleston Students Help Divert 7.7 Million Pounds of Waste from Landfills

Release Date: 05/05/2008
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (May 5, 2008) - It took only 10 weeks for college students from among 74 mid-Atlantic region schools competing in a nation-wide recycling competition to prevent 7.7 million pounds of material from ending up in landfills or incinerated. In West Virginia, the University of Charleston took top honors for recycling 8,800 pounds of material during the contest known as RecycleMania.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mid-Atlantic regional office promotes RecycleMania as a way to encourage colleges and universities to reduce their waste. The competition pits colleges against each other to see which ones can collect the most recyclables in 10 weeks. The winning school in each state receives a congratulatory letter and certificate from EPA along with bragging rights.

"RecycleMania has been successful in reinvigorating college campuses to minimize their waste and take other steps to help the environment," said Donald S. Welsh, EPA's mid-Atlantic regional administrator. "Participation in our region nearly doubled this past year compared to previous years, showing that college students want to be environmentally responsible."

The combined efforts of students at the University of Charleston and the other mid-Atlantic schools equates to an environmental benefit of eliminating carbon emissions from 2,140 vehicles.

More than 400 schools across North America participated in the 2008 challenge, resulting in a total of 58.6 million pounds of material recycled.

RecyleMania is affiliated with EPA’s WasteWise program, a free partnership helping U.S. organizations eliminate or reduce costly municipal solid waste, benefitting both the bottom line and the environment. Since collaborating with WasteWise in 2004, RecycleMania's enrollment has grown steadily each year.

In selecting the winning schools, results were measured as the number of pounds recycled per full time enrolled student. This year’s winners by state contributed the following amounts to the 7.7 million pounds of recycled material from the mid-Atlantic region:

School State Total Pounds Pounds Per Student


    University of Charleston WV 8,800 5.91

    Virginia Military Institute VA 70,948 35.04

    Dickinson College PA 100,910 30.28

    University of Delaware DE 433,881 18.76

    Trinity Washington University DC 24,761 16.53

    Loyola College MD 118,120 27.82

    For a complete list of the Region 3 RecycleMania 2008 participants, go to: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/solidwastemania.htm.

    For more information on becoming part of RecycleMania, go to: www.epa.gov/wastewise/targeted/colleges/recycmania.htm.

    For more information on Waste Wise, go to: www.epa.gov/wastewise/about/overview.htm.
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