From Feb. 1 to March 28, the University of Iowa will compete in RecycleMania 2015, a competition to recycle the most and waste the least.

RecycleMania is a national competition, pitting more than 400 campuses against each other as a way to promote recycling and waste reduction activities to their campus communities. The UI’s goal is to finish on top of the Big Ten. Last year, the UI finished in second place behind Purdue, up from a fifth-place finish in 2013.

Eight weeks of activities are planned where faculty, staff, and students can become more engaged in recycling and waste reduction efforts. The activities start Feb. 1 with the RecycleMania pledge and quiz, where students, staff, and faculty learn recycling basics and commit to participate in any of the eight activities during the competition.

Participants log activity by going to the Office of Sustainability's RecycleMania web pageor by sharing photos on Facebook or Twitter using #UIRM—or both. Names will be entered into a drawing to win weekly prizes, including mugs, tumblers, and healthy snacks from New Pioneer Co-op.

Here's a summary of the eight weeks of RecycleMania activities:

  • Feb. 1-7 RecycleMania Pledge: Pledge to participate in any of eight weekly activities and take a quiz to build knowledge.
  • Feb. 8-14 Mug Shots: Use a mug, or receive one of 600 handed out in campus cafes.
  • Feb. 15-21 Visual Audits: Go through your trash and see what can be recycled, consulting the List of Recyclable Items (LORI).
  • Feb. 22-28 Spring Cleanout: Clean out your office or living area and recycle.
  • Mar. 1-7 Zero Waste Future: Panel on food waste reduction in Iowa City and short films, March 5
  • Mar. 8-14 Caught Green-handed and Eco Hawk training: Sign up to be an Eco Hawk, get caught recycling by Herky and win a prize.
  • Mar. 15-21 Trash Free: Go a week without your trash, and promote Tiny Trash.
  • Mar. 22-28 Recycling Literacy Quiz

Each week, UI Sustainability Coordinator Eric Holthaus will submit weight data for recycling, composting, and trash to see how it stacks up against other universities in the Big Ten and beyond.

RecycleMania 2015 is presented by the Office of Sustainability with support from partners across campus. RecycleMania is part of the UI’s effort to meet its 2020 Vision of 60 percent waste diversion.

For more information about RecycleMania, click here.