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New England Colleges and Universities Take Top Honors in RecycleMania 2011 for Recycling Efforts

Release Date: 05/04/2011
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 4, 2011) – In only eight weeks of work, college students among 76 New England schools competing in a nation-wide recycling competition recovered 8.9 million pounds of recyclables and organics. Of the colleges and universities that participated in this year’s competition, five New England institutions earned bragging rights ranking as one of the top 3 finalists in a category and two of them will receive a national award for their accomplishments for finishing in first place. The New England colleges and universities gaining this recognition were:

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering – Needham, Mass.
††† • First place in targeted materials: bottles and cans category
††† • Third place in targeted materials: paper

Brandeis University† – Waltham, Mass.

††† • First place in targeted materials: organics category

United States Coast Guard Academy – New London, Conn.

††† • Third in the “Per Capita Classic”
††† • Second in the targeted materials: organics category

Harvard University – Cambridge, Mass.

††† • Third place in the “Gorilla Prize”

Rhode Island School of Design – Providence, R.I.

††† • Second place in targeted materials: bottles and cans category

Nationally, the 630 schools participating colleges recycled or composted an impressive 91 million pounds of material which prevented the release of nearly 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 52.8 million passenger cars; electricity use of more than 32.7 million homes; or the burning of nearly 1.5 million railcars’ worth of coal.

“EPA is proud that New England students have taken on the challenge of this friendly competition.† Over a few months we’ve seen significant results in recycling, which equals a cleaner environment and a wiser use of precious resources,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England regional office.

RecycleMania was launched in 2001 as a friendly challenge between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on their campuses. The contest has expanded rapidly in ten years’ time from two schools in 2001 to 630 colleges and universities in 2011.† Campuses compete to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per person, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per person, or have the highest recycling rate.

RecyleMania is affiliated with EPA’s WasteWise program, a free partnership helping U.S. organizations eliminate or reduce costly waste, which benefits both the financial bottom line as well as the environment. EPA New England encourages all New England colleges to continue their waste reduction efforts year round and join EPA’s WasteWise program. Partners get free access to Re-TRAC, a web-based data management and reporting system.

EPA recently launched the WasteWise Food Recovery Challenge that encourages participants to reduce, donate, and recycle as much of their food waste as possible — saving money and helping protect the environment. Participants will conduct a food waste assessment, undertake three specific waste reduction activities, create a food waste recovery plan, and report progress using WasteWise ReTRAC. Participating organizations will receive recognition for their Challenge achievements. EPA New England encourages New England colleges and universities to join WasteWise and participate in the Food Recovery Challenge.† For more information, go to www.epa.gov/foodrecoverychallenge

WasteWise was launched in 1994 and has over 2800 partners. WasteWise is a free, voluntary EPA program through which organizations eliminate costly waste, benefiting their bottom line and the environment. WasteWise members can join as partners, endorsers, or both. Partners join to change their own behavior and track their own internal waste reduction efforts with Re-TRAC, a web-based data management and reporting system.

More Information:

RecycleMania, including the 2011 participating schools and competition results (http://www.recyclemaniacs.org)

EPA WasteWise program, the Re-TRAC tool, and how to join as a WasteWise Partner (http://www.epa.gov/wastewise)

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