April 24, 2006

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University competed in the sixth annual RecycleMania, a 10-week nationwide intercollegiate recycling competition with 92 other colleges and universities, including Duke, Yale, Harvard, Villanova, and Ohio State.

"We entered the competition for the first time this year," said Merritt Pedrick, assistant director of operations for facilities at Bucknell. "We entered into six of the seven categories to determine how we compare to other schools that have interest in recycling and, we hoped, to educate the Bucknell community about recycling and to encourage recycling."

According to Pedrick, Bucknell did well in the four `recyclables per capita' events, ranking in the top half of the `overall recycling per campus population' event and a very close second of the seven Pennsylvania schools that entered.

Bucknell was in the top third and ranked first among the six other Pennsylvania schools in the `cardboard' event; in the top quarter nationally and third of six Pennsylvania schools in the `bottles and cans' event; and in the middle of the pack both nationally and in Pennsylvania in the `paper' event.

Two of the categories, Minimization and Grand Champion, are calculated using the total amount of solid waste generated by Bucknell per campus population. "We didn't rank well in these areas because we are generating more waste per capita than almost all the schools that entered the competition," said Pedrick. "Although it's not a good distinction, it's something we would not have known if we didn't enter this competition.

Overall, Pedrick said he feels pretty good about the results because it was the school's first try and competition was against some of the best recycling schools in the country. "We know how we compare to other schools and we also learned some things that we can apply for next year's competition.

"Also, the trend in recycling per capita at Bucknell increased during the event. We owe a large thank you to the environmental club and to the Facility Services, Grounds and labor shop for the extra efforts during the competition," Pedrick said.

Recycling at Bucknell still has a way to go, he said. "Although we improved from 12 percent recyclables per total solid waste to 15 percent during the RecycleMania competition, our waste stream is more than 50 percent recyclable material.

"RecycleMania estimates that between 30 and 70 percent of all campus waste comes from residence halls or dining halls, and half of that waste can be recycled," he said.

RecycleMania involved two types of competition. The Per Capita Classic allowed schools to compete to collect the most recyclables per campus population. The Waste Minimalization competition allowed schools to worked to have the least amount of municipal solid waste per campus population.

The final results for RecycleMania were:

  • Per Capital Classic: Oregon State University placed first with 91.35 pounds recycled per student; Bucknell took 31st place out of 87 schools* with 25.67 pounds recycled per student.

  • Waste Minimalization: Point Loma Nazarene University placed first with 35 pounds waste per student; Bucknell took 39th place out of 43 schools* with 170.02 pounds waste per student.

  • Grand Champion (Recycling Rate): Cal State San Marcos placed first with a 50.09 percent recycling rate; Bucknell placed 39th out of 45 schools* with a 15.1 percent recycling rate.

*although 93 schools participated, each school did not have to participate in all three competitions.

RecycleMania 2006 ran from Jan. 29 to April 8. During this 10-week period, participating schools competed to collect the largest amount of recyclables, the least amount of trash, and have the highest recycling rate. Schools participating in RecycleMania 2006 represented 33 states, nearly one million students, and more than 275,000 faculty and staff.

RecycleMania was created in 2001 as a competition between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on both campuses. More information on the competition can be found on the RecycleMania website at http://www.recyclemaniacs.com/

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Story posted April 23, 2006

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