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IU Northwest kicks off RecycleMania collegiate recycling competition

Campus urged to use blue bins for recyclables; tournament taps campus rivalries to promote conservation

Thursday Feb 14, 2013

Indiana University Northwest is proud to announce the campus’s involvement in the 2013 RecycleMania tournament, a national competition in which college campuses compete over eight weeks to see who can reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste.

Now through March 30, the IU Northwest Sustainability Committee will be keeping a close watch on the amount of waste generated and the amount of recyclables collected. Watch for the program’s blue bins throughout campus.

In addition to IU Northwest, nearly 525 schools, more than 4.4 million students and nearly one million faculty and staff will be participating in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Schools compete in 11 categories to see who recycles the most on a per capita basis; which produces the least amount of waste; and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream.

This is IU Northwest’s first year participating in the competition and the campus will be participating in the “Benchmark” competition, a program which allows institutions to begin to identify what to measure and the best ways to gather that data. IU Northwest will be able to compare their data with other, similar institutions including Purdue North Central.

“Our focus for now is on waste reduction on campus,” said Erin Argyilan, Ph.D., chair of the IU Northwest Sustainability Committee. “Students, staff and faculty will notice new blue containers that are available for ‘mixed stream’ recyclables. This means that people no longer need to sort recyclables, but can put paper, cans, and plastics #1-7 in to blue containers on campus.”

In 2012, 605 participating colleges and universities recovered more than 92 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, which prevented the release of nearly 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This reduction in greenhouse gases is comparable to the annual emissions from more than 25,800 passenger cars; electricity use of more than nearly 16,400 homes; or the burning of nearly 705 railcars’ worth of coal.

The competition is made possible with the sponsorship support of the Alcoa Foundation, the American Forest & Paper Association, The Coca-Cola Company and SCA.

A complete list of participants can be found at

For more information about IU Northwest’s RecycleMania program or to ask how you can get involved in sustainability efforts on campus, contact Dr. Erin Argyilan at

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