Last year, UMKC ranked 49th place in the RecycleMania competition. A goal to place in the top-5 in 2012 has been set.
The 516 participating North American universities will begin the competition on Feb. 5.
RecycleMania, which runs through March 31, is used to benchmark “college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities,” according to the RecycleMania website.
Past surveys have shown that 80 percent of RecycleMania participants schools saw recycling increase during the competition.
“UMKC will compete against hundreds of other universities nationwide in collecting as many recyclables as possible throughout our campus,” said UMKC Sustainability Intern and a senior Urban Planning & Design major, Grace Bennett.
During the competition, universities track recycling and trash from their campus. Schools are ranked based on the collection of recyclables per capita, the total amount of recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita and the highest recycling rate.
“[We] strive to raise awareness on environmental and conservation issues, reduce waste and increase recycling across campus,” Bennett said. “This is a fun and easy event to achieve the goals. [It’s] as easy as tossing a recyclable item in the recycling bin.”
To encourage competition, Bennett said the UMKC Sustainability will pick up recycling bins as usual, with extra pickup for departments that request it. The weight measurements are sent to the school from the company contracted to do its recycling.
This year’s events will include Waste-less Wednesdays, on which UMKC Sustainability will organize events in the Student Union during lunch hours. These events include some promotional giveaways and outreach.
RecycleMania was first started in February 2001 by Ed Newman of Ohio University and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler of Miami University with the goal of increasing recycling on their campuses. Since then, the 10-week competition between Miami University and Ohio University has spread to other universities.