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UT has kicked off its participation in the 2014 RecycleMania tournament, a national competition in which college campuses compete over eight weeks to see which can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most on-campus waste.

Hundreds of schools and millions of students, faculty, and staff are participating across the US and Canada.

The competition ends March 29.

Schools compete in eleven categories to see which can recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, and food waste on a per capita basis; which can produce the least amount of waste; and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. Additional categories recognize successful recycling at home basketball games and call attention to the recyclability of film plastic and scrap electronics.

Updated rankings published online each Friday allow schools to track their progress and rally to improve their standings against rival colleges.

“In order to succeed, we need the students, faculty, and staff to increase their individual waste minimization efforts,” said Bea Ross of UT Recycling.

“This competition is about more than who can recycle the most,” said Ross. “It’s an opportunity to raise awareness about our campus recycling program and the 5 Rs of waste reduction: refuse what you do not need, reduce what you do need, reuse what you consume, recycle what you cannot reuse, and rot (compost) the rest.”

Events include:

  • Resident Hall Competition: Residents will log their waste minimization actions to earn points for their hall’s team.
  • Greeks Go Green Competition: Sororities and fraternities can form teams and log their waste minimization actions to earn points. Each sorority and fraternity can host “5R” events and participate in programs hosted by UT Recycling to earn additional points for their team or chapter.
  • Student Organization Competition: Student organizations also can form teams, log their waste minimization actions to earn points, host “5R” events, and earn additional points for their organization.

In 2013, 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered during the competition, which prevented the release of greenhouse gases comparable to the carbon sequestered by 99,535 acres of US forests in one year.

For more information or to sign up for RecycleMania, contact Ross at or 865-974-3480 or visit

C O N T A C T :

Brooke Stevenson (865-974-7782,