ANOTHER YEAR AND another championship for the Cougars. Cal State San Marcos has repeated as Grand Champion of the seventh-annual RecycleMania challenge, a 10-week, nationwide recycling competition for colleges and universities. The Grand Championship trophy will be awarded at the National Recycling Coalition's (NRC) annual conference in Denver, which runs from Sept. 16-19.
More than 200 colleges and universities participated in this year's event, which recovered more than 41,370,000 pounds of recyclables and organics. Schools must compete in both the Per Capita Classic, which measures the largest amount of recyclables per person, and the Waste Minimization contest, which tracks the lowest amount of waste per person, in order to be eligible for the Grand Championship. However, the title is awarded to the school with the highest diversion rate and is not dependant on its performance in the Per Capita Classic or Waste Minimization contest. Cal State San Marcos finished the event with a nearly 60 percent diversion rate.
Carl Hanson, recycling director for San Marcos, which has an enrollment of 9,000 undergraduate students, says the school's performance has a lot to do with California's recycling culture. “We were born into it.”
The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, N.Y., topped the final rankings in the Per Capita Classic with a total of 101 recycled pounds per person, and the University of Texas at Austin claimed first in the Waste Minimization contest with 31 pounds of waste per person.
The Gorilla Prize, given to the school with the highest gross tonnage of recyclables, was awarded to Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.