RecycleMania is Coming !!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Photo credit: Jonathan Rausseo

You are probably going to hear a lot about this over the next couple of weeks. Now I am not sure if you remember this from previous years but when it comes to RecycleMania, we a re kind of a big deal.

Here's the skinny, RecycleMania is an international recycling competition between universities and colleges. Everyone submits their recycling numbers over the 10 week challenge (from January to March) and the organizers rank all the participants.

In the past 2 years, uOttawa has emerged as the undisputed Canadian champions. Internationally we placed 14th (out of ~300) last year and we are looking to three-peat.

The reason that RecycleMania is so important to us is simple, we want to get to zero waste. Take a look at the graphic above. Since 1987 the University has actually reduced its waste production by over 60%. In 2009, the amount of recyclables produced and the amount of waste generated were the same (a 50% diversion rate).

In the past few years the campus has dramatically improved its recycling infrastructure -more bins and more signs. Now we really want to focus on user behaviour. Things like, what can and can't be recycled. Communicating with the community needs to become a core focus because even if we add hundreds of new bins... we still need the community to take the time to put the right thing in the right place.

RecycleMania is one of our chances to do just that. Over the course of the competition we will be blasting out messages about how to be better consumers and producers of waste. The website is almost ready and our recycling coordinator (Brigitte Morin) has a couple of special things lined up so keep your eyes open.

-jon

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