Syracuse University placed first among participating Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) institutions and—for the third straight year—first in New York state in the Total Recycling category of the 2019 RecyleMania competition. The University also came in second among ACC institutions and third among the 15 participating New York colleges and universities in the competition’s Diversion category, as well as first in the ACC and fourth among 18 New York colleges and universities in the Per Capita Classic category.
The 2019 RecycleMania competition featured more than 300 colleges and universities. Each year, the University competes in three different categories: Total Recycling, Diversion and the Per Capita Classic. Rankings are determined by the amount of recycling, trash and compost collected over the two-month competition period. Each week, Sustainability Management gathered the information and submitted the amounts of recycling, trash, food scraps and donated food to be ranked with other colleges and universities.
Total Recycling recognizes institutions with the highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, bottles and cans. Syracuse University recycled 645,206 pounds of recyclables on campus during the competition, which secured the University’s national ranking of 19th out of the competing 251 colleges and universities. The University recycles using a single-stream system, meaning all recyclable materials—such as bottles, cans, paper, and cardboard—are combined into one bin.
The Diversion category combines trash, recyclables and food organics to determine the recycling rate. This year, the campus community held steady to a 48 percent diversion rate, which actually increased the University’s national ranking in the competition to 40th, up from 43rd in the 2018 RecycleMania competition.
The Per Capita Classic measures the weight of recyclable materials divided by the campus population to determine the amount each person recycled. With 23.5 pounds of recyclables per person over the eight-week competition, the University placed 28th nationally, an increase of six spots since last year.
Overall, the Syracuse University campus diverted 898,498 pounds of recyclables and food organics during the competition.
Some 300 campuses in 43 states competed in RecycleMania in 2019 engaging 4.25 million students and 900,000 faculty and staff for a total of more than 5.1 million participants.
From Feb. 3 to March 30, the participating colleges and universities recycled or composted (and donated to food banks and farms and used for biofuels) 65.5 million pounds of waste. In these eight weeks, the participants prevented the release of 99,254 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 20,895 cars.
Complete results for 2019 RecycleMania may be found at recyclemania.org/scoreboard/current-results/.
To learn more about how to recycle at Syracuse University, visit the Sustainability Management recycling page.