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Campus & Community

Know Before You Throw

Prep for RecycleMania—Try Your Aim With This Quiz

By Maryland Today Staff

Illustration of smiling globe surrounded by images of a battery, plant, trashcan and recycle symbol

Illustrations by Valerie Morgan

RecycleMania, an eight-week competition that challenges colleges and universities across the United States and Canada to collect the most recyclable materials, launches today.

Think there’s no glamour in salvaging used cooking grease, busted earbuds or catsup-smeared napkins? Then you haven’t heard of RecycleMania.

The eight-week competition launching today challenges colleges and universities across the United States and Canada to collect the most recyclable materials, and Terps are no slouches.

UMD has competed in RecycleMania since 2007 and placed No. 1 in recycling volume in the state for the past three years. In 2019, the university ranked second in the Big Ten Conference and 35th in the nation.

“We'd love to rally the UMD community to be at the top of the list in 2020," said Adrienne Small, the university’s recycling coordinator in Facilities Management.

But the goals of RecycleMania, led by the Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management, the Departments of Residential Facilities and Resident Life, and Dining Services, go beyond national glory. They include benchmarking UMD’s recycling and waste reduction efforts against other campuses, reducing waste, shrinking the university’s environmental footprint, and drawing attention and support to recycling and waste reduction programs.

Environmental sustainability is a priority at UMD, where the campus recycling rate in 2018 was 49.45%; 2019 figures aren’t yet available.

The university will participate in categories that measure the percentage of waste kept from landfills; the volume of waste diverted per capita; electronics recycled per capita; and success in reducing food waste through donations, biofuels and compost collection.

Do you have waste-sorting smarts to support Maryland in RecycleMania? Take this 10-question quiz about UMD recycling and find out. 

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.