MU participates in nationwide recycling competition

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. CST; updated 8:21 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Bags of recycled material are sorted at the Material Recovery Center in Columbia on Feb. 18. MU is participating in an eight-week competition against 651 colleges nationwide to see which campus can recycle the most materials.

COLUMBIA — MU is participating in the RecycleMania Tournament, an eight-week competition among 461 colleges and universities across North America that determines which school recycles the most.

“Over this eight week period we can keep track of what our stats are compared to other schools,” MU Sustainability Office administrative assistant Alicia LaVaute said.

Schools are judged on the recycling rate. Schools report the weight of all recycled materials and the weight of all material disposed on campus.

The City of Columbia Public Works Department collects the recycled materials from campus and delivers them to the Material Recovery Facility.

Nearly 58 percent of all materials disposed on campus are being recycled, according to the statistics compiled by RecycleMania. This is a significant increase from last year when MU completed the competition with a recycling rate of 24 percent. The University of Missouri-Kansas City won last year’s competition with a recycling rate of 86 percent.

“In some ways we are kind of limited to what we can recycle because…the [City of Columbia] only accepts plastics number one and number two,” LaVaute said. “You can’t recycle a yogurt cup, which is a number five.”

Currently, MU is in 18th place and has collected 147,000 pounds of recycling. The competition ends March 29.

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