RecycleMania returns to Auburn with a new name

Published: March 04, 2021

Article body

New name, new dates, new message and same goals. RecycleMania has rebranded as the Campus Race to Zero Waste for the competition’s 20th anniversary, and Auburn University is participating to bolster recycling and waste reduction across campus.

“The Campus Race to Zero Waste is the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities,” said Joan Hicken, manager of Facilities Management’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Department. “We want to encourage students, staff and faculty to increase their recycling efforts and reduce their waste generation.”

The competition officially kicked off on Jan. 31 and will end on March 27. During the eight-week competition, Hicken and her team report the amount of recycling and waste collected, then the total amounts are ranked into different categories like who recycles the most or which schools have the best recycling rates.

With recycling bins located across campus, both in buildings and along university walkaways, opportunities are always available. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, paper and cardboard can be recycled in hundreds of different bins.

Even if coming from off campus, students and staff still can participate.

“There is an on-campus recycling drop-off site for the Auburn Family’s use–especially for those who do not have access to recycling at their homes, condos or apartment complexes – located on West Thach Avenue at the back of West Campus Parking near the Band Practice Complex,” Hicken said. “There are separate recycling bins for mixed paper, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans and cardboard.”

RecycleMania has been a part of the Auburn landscape since 2007. During that time thousands of pounds of recyclables and waste have been sifted through and sorted, diverting thousands of pounds of waste away from local landfills.

While recycling is an incredibly important part of the race, just as important is the reduction of waste. Whether printing double sided or using a reusable water bottle, every piece of waste not thrown away is one less for the landfill.

“A simple thing everyone can do is reduce their paper waste. Say no to printing, and communicate electronically when you can,” Hicken said.

Submitted by: Casper Wood