The recycling bins have been emptied and weighed, and the results from RecycleMania 2012 indicate Virginia Tech’s growing participation in and commitment to campus recycling programs.

At the conclusion of RecycleMania 2012, held Feb. 5 to March 31, the university community exceeded 2011 totals for recycled material and had the second-highest amount of recycling material by weight among the participating Virginia schools, trailing only the University of Virginia.

“We increased our combined total for paper, bottles and cans, and cardboard by 32 percent,” said Denny Cochrane, the university’s sustainability program manager. “We feel very good about the university’s performance this year, especially with paper recycling.”

Cochrane said that five additional mixed paper recycling containers were placed near residence halls during the eight-week competition, bringing the campus total to 15, which likely helped increase participation from students. RecycleMania measures recycled material by weight and increasing the collection of paper can have a big impact.

Other categories also increased from last year’s totals. Dining Services earns recognition for the growth of the composting program with food service organics (compost) increasing by 23 percent from 2011 putting Virginia Tech in third place among other ACC participants for that category.

RecycleMania results (in pounds) of material recycled or composted by Virginia Tech during the 2012 competition, as compared to the 2011 competition are

  • Paper: 208,420 (2012), up from 121,000 (2011);
  • Bottles/Cans: 45,420 (2012), up from 42,740 (2011);
  • Cardboard: 127,920 (2012), up from 123,920 (2011); and
  • Food Waste: 196,300 (2012), up from 159,660 (2011).

According to the RecycleMania website, Virginia Tech’s competition recycling rate amounts to the equivalent of 276 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions or approximately 147 vehicles taken off the road or the energy consumption of 73 households.

This is the seventh consecutive year Virginia Tech has participated in the RecycleMania competition.

“We’re delighted to see the increased numbers during RecycleMania 2012, and our goal is to continue to pursue increases throughout the year” said Cochrane.

Hilary West contributed to this story.

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