"Recyclemania seems to be mainly a way of raising awareness about recycling," said Katie Jantzen, co-president of Earthkeepers. "It's a conversation starter among students, staff, and faculty, as well as a good reminder to recycle." Matthew Freed, recycling crew leader, is pictured going through recyclables picked up around the EMU residence halls. Photo by Mike Zucconi.

EMU Among State’s Best in Recycling

Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) finished third in the state of Virginia in the latest “Recyclemania” competition.

“Recyclemania brings some friendly competition between colleges and universities, and in the end, can help spark renewed interest and dialogue in how we recycle and reduce waste,” said Matthew Freed, EMU recycling crew leader.

During the competition, schools reported recycling and trash data, which was then ranked according to who collected the largest amount of recyclables per capita, who collected the largest amount of total recyclables, and who created the least amount of trash per capita or had the highest recycling rate.

EMU recycled 38.43 percent of its trash, finishing behind William & Mary (19, 54.44 percent) and the University of Virginia (53, 42.26 percent). Guilford College led Old Dominion Athletic Conference schools, recycling 43.27 percent of its trash.

Among area schools, James Madison recycled 25.44 percent, placing 157.

Freed said EMU has averaged between 38-40 percent recycled waste over the past four years.

Katie Jantzen, co-president of Earthkeepers, a student group focused on environmentally friendly practices such as recycling, composting and reducing waste, said the way EMU picks up its recyclables is unique to other schools.

“To my knowledge, EMU is the only school to collect all of our recyclables by bicycle trailer,” said Jantzen. “I think it’s noteworthy that we do not use any fossil fuels in the collection of recyclables around campus.”

For more information visit recyclemaniacs.org.