Feb 1- 500 Schools Compete to Recycle Most Campus Waste

Starting today, five hundred colleges around the globe (37 from California) will participate in the 2011 RecycleMania competition. Over a period of 10 weeks, starting on February 2 and lasting until April 2, schools will provide weekly data measuring their recyclables per capita, total recyclables, and the amount of trash per capita.

The Californian colleges competing include the entire UC system, some of the CSU campuses, and a variety of community colleges around the state. Over the past five years, Cal State San Marcos has consistently won the Grand Champion Award. However, a multitude of awards are given in various categories. To learn more about the rules and past results, visit the RecycleMania website.

CAW applauds the efforts of these schools to organize their student body in a collective effort to reduce waste. Through this collaboration, students can see the dramatic impact of their actions and quantify their influence. College campuses have historically been a focal point for waste production, yet they also carry great potential for implementation of these kinds of programs. In 1992, with 14.5 million students attending post secondary education, estimates conclude that campuses produced 3.6 million tons of waste. As of 2010, 17.5 million students are enrolled in post-secondary education.

Although some schools have taken it into their own hands to offset the environmental impact of their student population, CAW believes this should not be an option for campuses, but a recognized necessity. Last year we introduced AB 737, a measure which would expand recycling to the commercial sector (including schools and college campuses). Although the bill was vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, CAW continues to support he expansion of waste diversion programs in all sectors, whether it be business or residential.

If you want to know more about how CAW is expanding opportunities to recycle, click here.