Berkshire Community College recently competed with more than 390 colleges and universities in a tournament measured not in three pointers or foul shots, but in pounds of material recycled and composted. The RecycleMania Tournament harnesses the competitive energy of sports rivalries to engage students in increasing recycling and waste reduction on campuses nationwide.
BCC participated in the eight-week competition in which schools are ranked according to how much recycling, trash and food waste they collect. Between the Feb. 1 kickoff and the final recycling weigh-in on March 28, competing schools recycled or composted 80.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing annual emissions from 25,375 cars.
BCC finished in eighth place in the nation with a 70.6 percent recycling rate. The institution placed first in Massachusetts and second among two-year colleges.
BCC recycled 43,585 pounds of compost and recyclables during the course of the competition, preventing the release of 40 metric tonsof carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent to taking eight cars off the road or the energy consumption of four households.
“The College has set a goal of minimizing its waste stream that goes to the landfill by the year 2020. BCC’s yearly participation in the RecycleMania competition has served as a useful way to measure the campus’ performance against other colleges and universities as well as our own on a year-to-year progress. We are pleased to place so well nationally and look forward to growing our efforts,” said Dean and Chair of BCC’s Green Team Charles Kaminski.
The effort was coordinated by BCC’s Green Team, a coordinating and advisory body to help BCC meet its goals of developing a comprehensive plan to achieve carbon neutrality and to create institutional structures to guide the development and implementation of green practices, in conjunction with the Facilities Department.
The 394 schools participating enrolled 4.5 million students, with the American contingent representing nearly one in five U.S. college students. The RecycleMania program is managed by Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit that builds and sustains clean, green and beautifully vibrant communities.
Complete results, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by institution size, state, and other groupings, can be found here. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials.
“RecycleMania took the competition to a new level in our 15th anniversary year,” said Stacy Wheeler, president and co-founder of RecycleMania Inc. “We are thrilled with the increased engagement around waste reduction and recycling spurred by 3R Actions, the new digital and social component of the RecycleMania Tournament.”
The competition is made possible with the sponsorship support of Alcoa Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company.