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UMD Emerges as State Leader in 2018 RecycleMania Competition

Recyclemania is an annual 8-week competition which challenges colleges and universities across the United States and Canada to collect the most recyclable materials.


Andrew Muir , 301-405-7068


The annual RecycleMania competition among colleges and universities nationwide has concluded, and this year, the University of Maryland surpassed its 2017 results in almost every major category.

Highlights from the 2018 competition include:

  • No. 1 in the state of Maryland with a 49% recycling rate (an improvement from 44% in 2017);
  • No. 1 in the state of Maryland and No. 13 nationwide for the Total Recycling category, generating 922,603 pounds of recycling (an improvement from 808,676 pounds in 2017);
  • The university recycled 9,468 pounds of sensitive documents for shredding and 5,462 pounds of electronics during an all-campus shredding and electronics recycling event in March.

The 2018 tournament featured 300 schools participating from 46 states in the United States, the Districtof Columbia and Canada, with an enrollment of 3.6 million students. Participating colleges and universities are ranked in various categories according to how much recycling and food waste they divert from the landfill over two months.

Throughout the competition, the university saved 861 metric tons of CO2 over an eight-week period, comparable to keeping over 169 cars off the road or the energy consumption of 75 households during this period of time.

“Once again, the University of Maryland posted great results for RecycleMania,” said Bill Guididas, Assistant Director, Administrative Services, Facilities Management. “One of the notable outcomes this year was the fact that while the percentage of waste recycled went up, the total volume of waste generated went down. The focus on avoiding single use plastics and using reusable items has had a positive impact on the waste that we generate. “

Outreach and education efforts included a sensitive document shredding and e-waste event, educational activities at residence halls as a part of the Green Terp and Green Chapter programs, and the fifth annual “Recycle This!” video contest. This year’s winner was student Nisha Seebachan ’19, for her video, “Why Recycling Is Not a Trend; It’s Actually Important.”

“RecycleMania provides us with an opportunity to engage with colleges around the importance of recycling and to encourage them to make the act of recycling a part of their daily routine,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO, Keep America Beautiful. “Our goal with programs like RecycleMania is that these recycling behaviors stick with the participants throughout their lives and in turn, they educate their family and friends about the value of recycling and composting.”

For a sumary of UMD’s RecycleMania performance visit


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