Recyclemania, a friendly competition in which private colleges, community colleges, and universities compete to effectively recycle and compost, is set to start at Colorado College on Feb. 1.
During the eight weeks of competition, the school’s recycling and composting habits will be measured and compared to other schools around the nation.
According to fourth-year Mike Stevens, who is the student organizer for the event and an Office of Sustainability intern, it isn’t necessarily about how CC does in comparison to other schools.
“It’s more of an internal metric than a competition for us,” said Stevens. “Community Colleges that don’t have residents do really well because there’s not a lot of trash, with no one living there.”
In the past, the competition has started off with “Trash Peak,” an activity in which students sort a 30-cubic-yard mountain of trash on Worner quad into reusable, recyclable, compostable, and trash items. This metric is representative of the amount of trash that CC generates per day.
The first two weeks of the competition consist of data collection so that students can accurately measure the way that CC deals with waste. Throughout the competition, this kind of data collection is a key element of CC’s results.
“How well we do is really how well we can track, in addition to how our systems are set up,” said Stevens. “One of the things we’re working on in the Sustainability Office is how we can make things more efficient in terms of tracking.”
In 2014, 461 schools participated in Recyclemania and tracked 85.6 million pounds of recycling and compost. According to the Recyclemania website, the completion tracked 137,452 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.
Last year, CC scored 115 in the recycling competition with a recycling rate of 29.847 percent. In terms of goals for this year, Stevens hopes that CC will improve its rank.
“I’m never happy with the results, I think that CC should be a leader,” he said. “This year we want to work a lot more on publicizing the event.”
Recyclemania is part of a school-wide campaign to reach 90 percent waste diversion by 2020.