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April 16, 2015

Pitt places 11th in recycling


recyclemania-300x208The Pittsburgh campus recycled more than 1 million pounds of materials during  the 2015 RecycleMania challenge, good for 11th place overall in the annual collegiate recycling and waste reduction competition.

The campus also surpassed its goal of 17 pounds per person, collecting 24.69 pounds, good for a No. 35 ranking in the per-capita challenge.

Pitt’s recycling rate of 45.255 percent placed the campus at No. 52 in this year’s competition among schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Between Feb. 1 and March 28, 394 participating schools (representing a total of 4.5 million students) recycled or composted 80.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, analogous to the annual emissions from 25,375 cars.

Pitt’s contribution to the total savings was 2,142 metric tons of CO2 equivalent — equal to the annual energy consumption of 185 households or the emissions of 420 cars.

The campus tallied 1,011,950 pounds recycled over the course of the 2015 competition, up from 740,220 pounds in the 2014 challenge.

The University ranked No. 95 in waste minimization (least total waste per person overall), with 54.558 pounds per capita.

Pitt ranked No. 9 in paper recycling, collecting 14.019 pounds per person; No. 13 in corrugated cardboard with 9.926 pounds per person and No. 52 in bottles and cans with 0.745 pounds per person, according to results posted at

Antioch University in Seattle was RecycleMania’s grand champion winner for the second year in a row, recycling 96 percent of its waste.

Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles was No. 1 in the per-capita competition, collecting 73.9 pounds of recyclables per person.

The far-and-away leader in the gorilla competition for the most recyclables collected was Rutgers, with nearly 2.3 million pounds, 743,451 pounds more than No. 2 Harvard.

North Lake College of Irving, Texas, was No. 1 in the waste minimization category with just 3.29 pounds per person.

— Kimberly K. Barlow