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For the third year, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is challenging the University of Florida Gators to see who can recycle the most. UT won the first year, but not the second. The Vols want a tie-breaker.

The duel is part of RecycleMania, in which colleges across the nation and Canada are ranked in an eight-week competition based on the amount of recycling and trash collected each week.

This year, UT will have several opportunities for the campus community to participate.

Events include:

  • Student Recycling Challenge: Since February 11, residence halls have been competing against each other to establish the best recycling program. The competition concludes on February 24.
  • Paper Purge Party: from March 22 to 28, faculty and staff are invited to purge unwanted paper. Simply put paper in a box, bin, pile or bag, mark it for “recycling;” and set it outside the door. Volunteers with the Facilities Services department will make the rounds and do the heavy lifting.
  • Recyclympics: on March 12 outside the Humanities/Social Sciences amphitheater, faculty, staff and students are invited to compete in six Olympic-style, recycling-themed events for prizes. Crowd-pleasing favorites include the Phone Book Shot Put, Plastic Bottle Hammer Throw, and Bottle Cap-in-a-Haystack.

These recycling efforts really add up and do good for the environment. Last year, UT recycled nearly five pounds of paper, more than two-and-a-half pounds of cardboard, nearly a half-pound of food waste, and 1.25 pounds of plastic bottles and aluminum cans per faculty, staff, and student during the eight-week period last year.

RecycleMania aims to increase recycling participation by students and staff and raise awareness about the significance of waste reduction programs on campuses. To learn more about the competition and keep current on scores, visit the Recyclemania website.

The Paper Purge Party is sponsored by UT Recycling and Make Orange Green. For more information about the UT recycling program, visit the Make Orange Green website.

C O N T A C T:

Jay Price (865-974-3480,

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,