Diving into RecycleMania contest

Diving into RecycleMania contest

Main Page Content

The UI will participate in nationwide contest based on recycling efforts

The University of Iowa has entered RecycleMania 2014, a race to recycle the most and waste the least.

RecycleMania is a national competition, pitting more than 500 campuses against each other as a way to promote recycling and waste reduction activities to their campus communities. This year, the UI’s goal is to finish on top of the Big Ten. The aim of the competition is to engage the UI campus and use the excitement of RecycleMania to reach new audiences.

UISG leaders pose with recycle bin
UISG leaders Alec Bramel, Jeffrey Ding, Cassie Crose, and Katherine Valde are encouraging all faculty, staff, and students to help the UI claim first place in the 2014 RecycleMania contest. Photo courtesy of the Office of Sustainability.

"To join RecycleMania, you have to be a little bit of a maniac,” says Jeffrey Ding, UI Student Government sustainability liaison. “Hopefully, after eight weeks, that crazy becomes the new normal.”

Eight weeks of activities are planned where faculty, staff, and students can become more engaged in recycling and waste reduction efforts. The activities start with the Knowledge is Power Quiz, which empowers participants with the knowledge to recycle and help the UI win RecycleMania.

Participants who log their activities at recycle.uiowa.edu will be entered in a drawing to win prizes each week, and can share photos on the website, Facebook, or Twitter using #UIowaRecycleMania to increase their chances to win. Winners will receive apple cider donuts from Barb's Pantry to share with friends and colleagues or other RecycleMania prizes.

Here's a summary of the eight weeks of RecycleMania activities:

  • Feb. 2-8, Knowledge is Power Quiz: This gives participants foundational knowledge of recycling and RecycleMania.
  • Feb. 9-15, Mug Shots: UI Cafes will offer discounts for using reusable mugs and water bottles, and RecycleMania mugs will be given away.
  • Feb. 16-22, Waste, What???: Faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to compare their trash to a recycling picture guide to see what more they can do to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Feb. 23-March 1, Share a recycling story on Facebook, Twitter (#UIowaRecycleMania) or recycle.uiowa.edu: The UI community has many recycling and waste reduction champions and this is a chance for them to tell their stories, or share a story about a friend or colleague.
  • March 2-8, Recycle Like a Hawk: Recyclers can share photos of themselves recycling in Hawkeye apparel, or tell why Hawkeyes recycle.
  • March 9-15, Spring Cleanout: Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to clean out and recycle materials in offices, dorm rooms, and student organization offices.
  • March 16-22, Be Free From Your Trash: Faculty and staff will be challenged to go a week without using the personal trash at their desks. Instead, they can use community bins and eliminate the need for a bag to line trash cans.
  • March 23-29, Be a Recycling Maniac: capture over-the-top recycling and waste reduction efforts through photo or video. Get satirical. Make a parody.

Each week, UI recycling coordinator Eric Holthaus will submit weight data from the UI single stream recycling program and see how it stacks up against other universities in the Big Ten and beyond. This is the second year the UI will compete in RecycleMania competition; in 2013 it finished fifth in the Big Ten with a 28 percent recycling rate.

“We’re in a position to do very well and a little participation can take us to the top,” Holthaus says. “Plus you can win some tasty donuts! Take the Knowledge is Power Quiz today.”

2014 recycle mania logo

RecycleMania 2014 is co-sponsored by Associated Residence Halls, the Office of Sustainability, University of Iowa Student Government, and University Housing and Dining. RecycleMania is part of the UI’s effort to meet its 2020 Vision sustainability goal of 60 percent waste diversion.


George McCrory, Office of Sustainability, 319-335-5517
Eric Holthaus, Facilities Management, 319-384-3415


Email Button