by Eda Reed ‘16
With more than 45 tons of Colby’s waste stream diverted from landfills in eight weeks, RecycleMania 2014 was a great success. Colby spent February and March working to increase recycling on campus and to divert as much waste as possible from landfills as part of the national recycling competition among higher education institutions.
Where did we start? Our first week’s total diversion rate (a percentage calculated by dividing waste composted, recycled, or otherwise diverted by the total weight of trash) was 34 percent. We diverted 8,561 pounds of material. But we knew we could do better.
What was our best? In the fifth week of competition, March 1-8, we peaked at a total diversion rate of 46 percent, diverting 14,339.2 pounds.
Where did we end? Spring break took its toll on campus recycling, lowering our diversion rate over the last week of competition. But in the eight weeks we recycled a grand total of 52,586 pounds of material and composted 37,780 pounds of food waste—an impressive 90,366 pounds of waste in all
What now? Just because the competition is over doesn’t mean recycling stops. New opportunities are being implemented all over campus, enabling us to achieve higher diversion rates in the future. Over the course of the competition, we had a 7 percent increase in total average diversion rate compared to last year’s annual average.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped Colby succeed. Any questions or suggestions for next year can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org