CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University finished fourth in a 10-week national competition among colleges and universities that was aimed at increasing on-campus recycling rates.

Called RecycleMania 2008, the competition drew more than 400 institutions that competed in a variety of categories. OSU finished fourth in the Per Capita Classic, which measured the number of recyclables per student living on campus. OSU’s University Housing and Dining collected a total of 216,896 pounds, or 61.83 per student.

“RecycleMania is important because it offers and incentive and a ranking for recycling on campus,” said Matt Pennington, outreach coordinator for the Student Sustainability Center on campus. “No matter how much we recycle and work toward sustainability, we haven’t known how we fare on a national scale and this competition allows us to judge that.

“It’s also refreshing to see OSU finish as the top ‘green’ school in the state,” he added.

Oregon State also took top honors in bottle and can recycling, just ahead of Rutgers University and the University of Oregon, and fifth in recycling corrugated cardboard.

Top honors went to California State University at San Marcos, which won the Per Capita Classic and was named Grand Champion. The “Gorilla Prize,” for highest gross tonnage of recyclables, went to Stanford University with 1.23 million pounds.

The competition was begun in 2001 by faculty members at the University of North Florida and is administered by the National Recycling Coalition. It is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and sponsored by Coca-Cola. This year’s competition brought in more than 58 million pounds of recyclables and organics from the 400-plus institutions.


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Matt Penning