This spring, Wells joined over 300 institutions nationwide (including 30 New York State colleges and universities) for yet another successful RecycleMania competition. Due to community engagement and new support programs introduced by the Center of Sustainability and the Environment and Facilities Services, Wells is proud to announce this year's outstanding increase in recycling.
Wells' RecycleMania statistics are: in the Grand Champion category: 31.80% recycling rate (35% increase); in the Per Capita classic category: 12.654 pounds of recycling per person (45.5% increase); in the Gorilla class: 8,693 pounds of recycling collected (55.7% increase); and Waste Minimization: 38.783 pounds of trash/recycling per person. These impressive numbers—boosted by new in-room, bathroom and laundry recycling collections as well as more visible and understandable recycling info across campus—moved Wells up in the state and national standings and positioned us well for next spring's competition.
RecycleMania began in January 2001 as a challenge between Ohio University and Miami University, when those schools looked to leverage their football rivalry to motivate their respective student bodies to recycle more. The RecycleMania challenge was opened to other schools in subsequent years and soon became a popular, annual national tournament. Today, Recyclemania continues as a friendly, 8-week competition each spring that is open to institutions of higher learning anywhere in the world. Participating colleges are responsible for organizing their own recycling collections and promoting their efforts, but all utilize standardized measurement protocols and a centralized reporting system.
Wells first participated in 2009 through 2011, tracking the following categories: Waste Minimization (producing least amount of recyclables), Gorilla (highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, paper, and cans and bottles), Per Capita Classic (largest amount of combined paper, cardboard, cans and bottles on a per person basis), and Grand Champion (combination of trash and core recyclables plus food organics). The dining services coordinator for those RecycleMania competition years left the college after 2011, and Wells did not participate again until 2015, when Wells re-signed to participate in RecycleMania. Marian Brown, director of the Center of Sustainability and Environment, in cooperation with Facilities Services, had brought online a comprehensive campus recycling program the prior fall semester. Wells' participation in RecycleMania 2015 served as a good vehicle to encourage recycling support among the Wells community and measure the success of the new recycling system.
In last year's tournament, in the Grand Champion category, Wells posted a 23.44% recycling rate, with each member of the campus recycling 8.698 pounds of waste material (Per Capita Classic category). In the Waste Minimization measure, Wells disposed of 37.109 pounds per person of combined trash/recycling, with an overall collection of 5,584 pounds of recycling (Gorilla class).