The numbers are in, the calculators have done the math and results are now official. RecycleMania 2014 has been a grand success! Here are the highlights:

Antioch University Seattle seized the Grand Champion title with an unparalleled 93% recycling rate! The University lived up to its Commitment to Sustainability by increasing their final recycling rate by 10 percentage points over last year. The secret to their success: beyond having a first rate recycling and recovery program, the school of less than 700 students arranged this year to sort the remaining trash during the term of the competition.

Meanwhile, Kalamazoo College took home both the Per Capita Classic and the Bottles and Cans division wins. Their top rankings return the “K” College Hornets to their winning ways, after taking the Bottles and Cans prize in 2009 and 2010.

Six-time winner of the Gorilla prize, Rutgers University, extended their streak in 2014, The Scarlet-Knights narrowly held off the Duke Blue Devils with a total of 1,183,000 pounds of cardboard, paper and bottles and cans recycling during the spring tournament. With Antioch University Seattle, North Lake College, and Valencia Community College all vying for Waste Minimization victory, it took a combination of RecycleMania experience and innovative thinking to secure Valencia their third-straight win. Their efforts to go paperless by switching to electronic media and centralized waste collection bins paid off.

The Westfield State Nestors proved the fourth time’s a charm with their first-ever victory in the Paper category. After three years in the top ten, and a second-place finish last year, The Nestors perseverance got them the gold!

Eager to restore their 2012 title, Bard College composted their way to the top of the heap claiming the Food Service Organics title with an impressive 28,521 pounds collected!

Last year, the U.S. Military Academy missed the cardboard category prize by just .27 pounds. This year, the West Point Black Nights put their four years of RecycleMania experience to work and collected 27.59 pounds of cardboard per capita to win the category!

Keep Akron Beautiful, Akron, OH – I Want To Be Recycled

Keep Akron Beautiful is proud to bring the national “I Want To Be Recycled” campaign to Akron, OH! The citizens of Akron are already recyclers, but we wanted to showcase the national, beautiful ad’s on a local level. President and CEO, Paula Davis and Program Manager, Jacqui Flaherty thought that adding the ad’s to our city’s trash and recycling trucks was the perfect way to go! Throughout the end of March, all of April and all of May, citizens will be able to see the “I Want To Be Recycled” ads and gain more information on the national campaign, by seeing the ads right here in Akron!

The KAB staff, Paula Davis, Jacqui Flaherty, and KAB Board Chairman, Dan Zampelli, were happy to pose with the truck, after seeing it for the first time this March! Welcome to Akron, “I Want To Be Recycled”! The citizens are already commenting and enjoying the campaign!

Texarkana, Arkansas

Volunteers across Texarkana, Arkansas joined together on March 8, 2014 for their, “Cleaner is Greener!” Great American Cleanup and recycling event.

Volunteers removed over 1,000 pounds of litter from the streets of Texarkana, cleaning 5 miles of roadways. More than 15,000 pounds of bulky waste was collected in dumpsters throughout the city. Volunteers also planted more than 30 trees.

Texarkana also hosted a large recycling drive–collecting almost 2,000 pounds each of both plastic and aluminum. They also collected almost 4,000 pounds of newspaper, and almost 5,000 pounds of e-waste.

Keep America Beautiful

Testifying before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Agencies today, Brenda Pulley, SVP of Recycling for Keep America Beautiful talked about the importance of engaging individuals to recycle. The focus of the hearing, chaired by Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware, was to identify ways to increase the recycling of electronics. Many witnesses talked about the importance of convenience for the consumer to easily recycle electronics. Walter Alcorn, representing the Consumer Electronics Association, noted that it is estimated each home has 28 different electronics devices.

Pulley noted that the three key factors that guide KAB’s work to increase recycling are: convenience, communication and cause (in other words making recycling matter). Pulley noted that the consumer research findings for the national I Want To Be Recycled ad campaign that KAB has developed in partnership with the Advertising Council, was all about finding that emotional connection. And, what we learned was that when people understood that they could give their garbage another life – they wanted to take the extra step to recycle.

Finally, Pulley discussed two unique challenges for electronics recycling – the time of purchase to the end of life – can be several years. So consumers need additional prompting and ease to remind them to recycle their obsolete electronics, which is why electronics collection events like those held by Keep Carroll Beautiful in Georgia are so important. And because electronics have perceived value, people tend to store their old equipment in basements and garages rather than readily recycle them. So in developing strategies for recycling, this too is a barrier that must be overcome.

When asked what the Senate could do, Pulley noted that leading by example – making recycling a social norm by talking about electronics recycling, being seen recycling and inviting their colleagues and constituents to do the same – were leadership roles for senators.

Arizona Recycling Coalition

Congratulations to the students of Bourgade Catholic High School’s Earthwatch Club for winning second place in this year’s statewide Recycle Bowl Competition! Staff from Arizona Recycling Coalition and City of Phoenix Public Works Department awarded them with a check for $500 from the Arizona Recycling Coalition..

You guys are awesome recyclers! Thanks for all your hard work and keep recycling!

Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful

Check out these results!

Panthers/49ers Game Results: collected a record 4.81 tons of tailgate recycling with volunteers from Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful, Bank of America and Hands on Charlotte

26 volunteers with 4 volunteers on bicycles !

Season Record: 36.76 tons during the season and a season total of 130 volunteers

And last but by no means least, thank you to the Carolina Panthers who have been a tremendously supportive partner in the 5 years the program has been in effect

The Panthers have also evolved their recycling collection inside the Stadium, this season 77.56 tons of recycling! Of that total, 19.44 tons was aluminum! To add to this, a pilot compost program started this season with 12.42 tons being collected. With a total of 89.98 tons being collected inside the Stadium combined with the 36.76 tailgate tons, we have a total of 126.74 tons diverted from the landfill.

Keep Georgia Beautiful’s annual “Bring One for the Chipper”

When the Christmas season comes to an end, Keep Georgia Beautiful is working hard to host it’s annual Bring One for the Chipper Christmas tree recycling event.  With nearly 300 collection sites throughout Georgia, it is the largest Christmas tree recycling in the nation.  Through a partnership with Earth-911 and the support of Home Depot, The Davey Tree Company and WXIA11-Alive, Keep Georgia Beautiful has successfully hosted Bring One for the Chipper for the past 23 years.

Since the program started in 1991, Georgia has been successful in recycling over 6 million trees with an average of about 200,000 trees each year. “It is a great way to divert [the trees] from landfills and an easy way to close the loop. A lot are used for mulch and some trees are sunk into rivers for fish and wildlife habitat,” explained Kanika Greenlee, the director of programs and development for Keep Georgia Beautiful.

According to Keep Georgia Beautiful, the mulch from these trees has been used for playgrounds, local government beautification projects, and individual yards. Mulched landscapes help absorb runoff and prevent erosion during times of heavy rainfall.

This year, the Bring One for the Chipper event will take place on Saturday, January 4, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Georgia residents can visit for a list of drop-off centers by zip codes throughout the state.

I Pledge to Recycle More – America Recycles Day

This year, to help celebrate America Recycles Day (ARD), Keep America Beautiful invited people to give their garbage another life and pledge to recycle more by taking the “I Recycle” pledge online via the ARD website or QR Code.  More than 8,000 people accepted that invitation and shared what they plan on doing to recycle more in 2013 and beyond.

To help educate people about how recycled materials can be transformed into exciting and useful things, all pledges taken online from Jan. 1, through Nov. 30, 2013, were entered into a drawing for one of 10 park benches made from recycled plastic, courtesy of Plastic Recyclers of Iowa Falls! These recycled content park benches are a great example that material can become something new and valuable when it is recycled.

One of the recipients, Bill Roscoe, a teacher from Avenue Elementary School in Illinois, plans to use his new four-foot park bench as the centerpiece in his school’s new garden. The bench will serve as a reminder for the students about the impact recycling can have on their community – and the world. Another winner, David Watson, decided to donate his park bench to his local KAB affiliate, Keep Pearland (Texas) Beautiful.

Additional winners include:

  • Hanover Park Regional High School in New Jersey
  • Metairie Park Country Day School in Louisiana
  • Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia
  • John Vinson from Van Buren, Ark.
  • Radford University in Virginia
  • Teresa Rouse from North Carolina
  • Phyllis Weiss from Georgia
  • Prince William County Government

Congratulations to all our 2013 ARD Pledge Drive winners. Don’t forget to come back and take the “I Recycle” pledge in 2014!