AUS is the 2014 RecycleMania Grand Champion!

Waste Not! Antioch University Seattle is Tops in Recyclemania

Not much winds up in the trash at Antioch University Seattle. So little in fact that the campus was named the Grand Champion during Recyclemania 2014 by recycling an all-time record of 93.13% of overall waste. In the US and Canada, 461 schools participated in the 14th annual eight-week competition and recycled 89.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials.

While Antioch University has been a repeat top 10 finisher, this year’s effort broke the record for the highest percentage of recycling. It was done through the little things that built upon current efforts, using only compostable items for events, having prominent and convenient sorting and recycling spaces, installing hydration stations and arrangements with vendors that even get down to the level of recycling dead pens. Staff even went through trash that was collected to sort and found that that 60-80% of those items were recyclable.

“At Antioch University Seattle, we made it harder to throw things out by actually removing nearly all of our trash cans. In short, even though we are a socially conscious institution that lives by our mission, we made people think even harder than they normally do, and make decisions item by item that led to this record-breaking recycle rate of over 93%. Thanks to the entire team of students, faculty and staff that set this new bar in 2014, and a special thanks to our Facilities Director Mike Johnson on his leadership,” said President Brian Baird.

During the Recyclemania tournament, updated weekly rankings allowed schools to track their performance in eight categories – measuring their recycling rate; overall recycling by weight; least amount of total waste; and per capita recovery for paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, and food waste. Colleges also participated in special categories targeting electronics, film plastics and waste materials generated at home basketball games.

“Recyclemania is a powerful tool to communicate the recycling message to college students in a way that resonates with their values and experience,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, the national nonprofit organization that manages the competition. “KEB is thrilled to play a role in growing the impact of this program. Congratulations to all of the participants for their positive community impact.”

The RecycleMania Tournament was launched in 2001 as a friendly challenge between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on their campuses. The competition has expanded from two schools in 2001 to 461 colleges and universities in 2014 spanning all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. RecycleMania is an independent program of RecycleMania, Inc. Program management is provided by Keep America Beautiful with additional program support from the United States EPA’s WasteWise program and the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC). This year, RecycleMania also partnered with National Wildlife Foundation’s Campus Ecology program and Campus Conservation National (CCN).

View this year’s rankings here and make sure that you continue to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle throughout the year!

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Antioch University

Since our founding 1852, Antioch University has remained on the forefront of social justice, inclusion, and equality – regardless of ethnicity, gender, creed, orientation, focus of study, or ability.

Antiochians actively reflect these shared values to inspire positive change in the world. Common Thread is where we document the stories that showcase our communities actions, so the change we work for can be shared widely.  

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