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There are just two weeks left in this year’s RecycleMania and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is off to a great start! So far, the campus has recycled 25 percent more materials this year compared to 2010 – about 5.2 pounds per person.

RecycleMania is an eight-week competition among more than 630 college and university recycling programs representing 6 million students and more than 1.5 million staff and faculty that kicked off Feb. 6. This year UT Knoxville’s recycling program has decided to take on Florida again in an effort to recycle more than the Gators. The Volunteers are trailing the Gators by about a pound per person but there is plenty of time to take the lead.

“I know we can do it,” said Jay Price, environmental coordinator. “If everyone recycled just one phone book in the next two weeks, it would put us over the top. It’s that simple. Take 5 minutes to look through old files and catalogs and magazines and put any you don’t need in the blue recycling bin at your desk or in the classrooms, or any paper recycling bin in the hallways.”

Throughout the competition, UT Recycling has held events to boost its recycling score such as the Paper Purge Party, where UT Recycling staff visited offices accorss campus collecting unwanted paper.

The last big event will be the 2nd Annual Recyclympics event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 1 on the TRECS field. Radio station WUTK90.3 The Rock will be on-site, along with free food, drinks and t-shirts for those who come out to participate.

To view a video of last year’s Recyclympics, click here.

“It’s going to be awesome,” said Price. “We need as many people out there as possible to test their skills in our recycling games such as the phone book shotput, plastic bottle hammer throw, plastic bottle free throw, recycling obstacle course, plastic bottle skeeball, compact discus, the recycling bin moon boot race, battery bucket race, mouseballs and cap in a haystack.”

RecycleMania aims to increase recycling participation by students and staff and raise awareness about the significance of waste reduction programs on campuses. It is part of the university’s effort to become climate-neutral.

For more information about RecycleMania and the UT Knoxville recycling program, visit