The University of Oregon is competing again in the annual recycling contest RecycleMania, as well as in the Oregon Classic, a subcompetition between the UO and Oregon State University.
RecycleMania is a nationwide recycling competition for college campuses that UO has participated in since 2003. RecycleMania has evolved since the first year UO competed, when it focused solely on campus residence halls and dining centers. Now the entire campus factors into the competition, as it does for OSU’s campus in Corvallis.
For the 10th consecutive year, competition coordinators at the UO and OSU focus campus attention on the local head-to-head competition. The Oregon Classic encourages interest in recycling and zero-waste practices through a friendly rivalry between the two campuses.
Robyn Hathcock, the program manager in the UO’s Office of Sustainability, emphasized the importance of the event.
“Campus waste management and the Zero Waste Program continue to see basic, recyclable items being thrown away instead of placed into one of the thousands of recycling containers available in and around every campus building,” she said. “As we continue to see changes in the materials accepted for recycling, it’s important to practice the fundamentals and prioritize recycling everything we’re able to.”
The UO has begun its quest to reclaim the trophy from OSU, which took the victory in 2019 by a slim margin — just a half of a pound of recycling collected per person on campus after eight weeks of competition. The impact of the participation from both schools is impressive. In 2019, the two campuses collectively recycled 180 tons of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans during the Oregon Classic.
The event name was changed from the Civil War to the Oregon Classic in 2018. Reflecting on the name change, Hathcock said “the term ‘classic’ reflects the recycling materials and spirit of competition that have remained consistent throughout the many years of participation.”
RecycleMania and the Oregon Classic run from now until March 28. People can keep track on the results via the UO’s RecycleMania webpage.