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January 22, 2015

Recyclemania begins Feb. 1

recyclemania-300x208Organizers on the Pittsburgh campus have set a goal of collecting 17 pounds of recyclables per person in the 2015 RecycleMania tournament, set for Feb. 1-March 28.

RecycleMania is a competition among colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, aimed at encouraging recycling and waste reduction. Pitt has participated since 2009.

Last year, with a goal of 16 pounds per person, the Pittsburgh campus collected 18.98 pounds of recyclables per capita during the eight-week competition. (See April 17, 2014, University Times.)

It placed No. 10 of 335 schools in recyclables collected, with a total of 740,460 pounds overall, according to results posted at

Laura Zullo, senior manager for energy initiatives in Facilities Management, told the University Times that the department is working with student organizations Free the Planet, Engineers for a Sustainable World and Students for Sustainability to lead campus participation in the annual event.

In addition to stepping up recycling efforts on campus, the groups plan to raise awareness through student tours of the recycling and landfill facilities that take Pitt’s trash; waste audits on Feb. 4 and 10 at the Schenley Quad, and a basketball game day recycling event at a date to be determined.

University employees are encouraged to contribute beyond their ordinary recycling efforts by using Pitt’s spring break week as an opportunity for office cleanup. If it’s a large task, staff can request a recycling container by contacting Will Mitchell at

Each week participating schools report data on paper, corrugated cardboard, cans and bottles and electronic waste recycling as well as waste data. Weekly progress can be tracked at

Final results will be announced in mid-April.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Shredded paper texture.