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UMD Ranks First in State for Recycling Efforts

May 1, 2017
Contacts: 

Andrew Muir, 301-405-7068

COLLEGE PARK, Md.—  For the past 11 years, the University of Maryland has competed in Recyclemania, an annual competition for college and university recycling programs aimed at promoting waste reduction on campuses. This year, the university ranked first in state for achieving a 44 percent recycling rate and for collecting close to eight pounds of compostables per person. In addition, the university ranked second in state and 15th nationwide in the Total Recycling category, generating 808,676 pounds of recycling. 

Throughout the eight-week competition, which is managed by Keep America Beautiful, the university saved 885 metric tons of CO2 over an eight-week period. This is comparable to keeping over 173 cars off the road. The university also recycled a little over five tons of shredded documents and nearly 7,000 pounds of electronic devices during an all-campus shredding and electronics-recycling event in March. 

“Once again the University of Maryland community helped make this a successful year,” said Bill Guididas, assistant director, Building and Landscape Maintenance. “RecycleMania is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that we make towards the reduction of waste on campus. We focused on the quality of our collections again this year and the results were wonderful.” 

A repurposed, customized theme for this year’s competition, “Clean the Stream in 2017,” continued to focus on educating the university community about the recycling process, including the recyclability of commonly used materials. Outreach and education efforts encompassed a sensitive document shredding and e-waste event, educational activities at UMD’s residence halls as a part of the Green Terp program, and the fourth annual “Recycle This!” video contest. Kim Hopkins, communications student, won for her video “How Should Terps Recycle?”

“RecycleMania provides us with an opportunity to heighten awareness about the importance of recycling among college students, and to help make recycling become a part of their daily routine,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, Recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Our hope is that these recycling behaviors stick with them throughout their lives and that they share what they’ve learned with family, friends and other students.” 

The 2017 tournament featured 320 schools from the United States and Canada, with an enrollment of four million students. Participating colleges and universities were ranked in various categories according to how much recycling and food waste they diverted from the landfill during a two-month period.

Click here to see a summary of UMD’s RecycleMania performance. Click here to see a full breakdown of UMD’s results.