Mercyhurst emerges as mighty contender in RecycleMania

Recycle Mania

With the numbers for the first week of RecycleMania now in the books, Mercyhurst can boast of some impressive early rankings - 8th in the nation in the Grand Champion category and 10th in the Per Capita Classic.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition among college and university recycling programs, but it's likely to be as intense as any athletic contest as the schools compete to see who can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or who has the highest recycling rate. With each week's reports, participating schools watch how their results compare to other schools and use the rankings to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.

During the first week of February, Mercyhurst recycled 5.31 pounds of bottles, cans, paper and cardboard per capita and total recycling reached almost 28,000 pounds. Of all the waste generated on campus, the college recycled 56.59 percent of it.

"This outstanding performance is a clear testament to not only the outstanding leadership of Ken Stepherson and the dedication of our physical plant staff, but also to the entire campus community which is clearly responding to the challenge of RecycleMania," said Dr. Chris Magoc, chair of the Green Team. "Less than 10 years ago recycling barely existed at the college; we are now recycling more than half of our waste stream. This is an impressive achievement, more evidence of our deepening sense of global environmental responsibility."

While the Week 1 stats are outstanding, organizers are urging the college community to keep up the pace in the coming weeks. The competition continues through March 28, after which winners in several categories will be crowned based on cumulative totals for the eight-week period.

This is the first year Mercyhurst has taken up the RecycleMania challenge, which began with a head-to-head competition between Miami University and Ohio University in 2001 and has grown rapidly ever since. This year, 496 schools are registered; 48 of them from Pennsylvania. Allegheny College is the only other nearby school participating in the competition.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy leads the Per Capita Classic after Week 1 with 8.65 pounds of recycling per capita, and Cal State-San Marcos tops the Grand Champion division with an 82.32 percent recycling proportion.

To monitor the RecycleMania rankings as the competition continues, visit

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