Syracuse University Ranks First in State for 2018 RecycleMania Competition

For the second year in a row, Syracuse University ranked first in the Total Recycling category in New York State in the 2018 RecycleMania competition, the eight-week waste reduction and recycling competition between colleges and universities in North America.

The University recycled 905,314 pounds of material, securing the University’s national ranking of 14th out of the competing 229 schools. Total Recycling recognizes schools with highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, and bottles and cans.

This year, SU competed in three categories: Total Recycling, Diversion and Per Capita Classic. Overall, the campus community helped improve recycling rates, which means Syracuse University ranked higher against other New York colleges and universities in all four categories. Rankings are determined by the amount of recycling and trash collected over the two-month competition period. Each week, Sustainability Management gathered the information and submitted the amounts of recycling, trash and food waste to be ranked with other colleges and universities.

The University increased its diversion rate from 47 percent in 2017 to 48 percent during this year’s competition. In New York State, Syracuse University placed third out of the 19 competing schools in the Diversion category, which combines trash, recyclables and food organics to determine the school’s recycling rate as a percentage of overall waste. Nationally, the University increased its ranking by an impressive nine slots from 2017 to secure it in 43rd out of 171 schools.

The Per Capita Classic measures the weight of recyclable materials divided by the campus population. With 23.5 pounds of recyclables per person, the University ranked third in New York State and 34th nationally out of 230 schools.

The 2018 tournament featured 300 schools participating from 46 states in the United States, District of Columbia and Canada with an enrollment of 3.6 million students. Between the February 4 kickoff and the final recycling weigh-in on March 31, participating schools recycled or composted 68.6 million pounds of waste, preventing the release of 94.152 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) in the atmosphere, which is the equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 20,160 cars.

Complete results for these and other categories are found at To learn more about RecycleMania, visit For more information on sustainability and recycling efforts, visit, follow @SustainableSU on Twitter or check out the Syracuse University Sustainability Facebook page.