Recyclemania Get in GameUNH students: email to get involved!

RecycleMania is a 10-week waste minimization, recycling and composting competition between hundreds of schools nationwide during the spring semester. The RecycleMania Competition is a project of the College and University Recycling Council (CURC) governed by an steering committee comprised of six individuals. Staff administration for RecycleMania is provided by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC). Learn more at

Participating in the “Waste Minimization” competition is one of UNH’s commitments under the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and is part of UNH’s Climate Action Plan, called WildCAP, which calls for greenhouse gas reductions of 50% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. 


2011 Results

  • From February 6 - April 2, college and university students focused on how much trash they could recycle in order to receive one of RecycleMania’s top prizes.
  • In the Grand Champion competition, which is determined by overall percentage of trash that is recycled, UNH ranked 129/288 schools, with a 29.24% cumulative recycling rate. 
  • In the Per Capita Classic competition, UNH ranked 148/362 schools, with 11.58 pounds of waste recycled per person.
  • UNH’s stronger performance came in the specific recycling categories. We ranked 93/231 in cardboard recycling, 76/226 in paper recycling, 64/219 in comingled recyclables (plastic, glass, aluminum), and 60/131 for food service organics, which are composted at Woodman Farm for use in the fields.
  • Our campus continues to struggle with decreasing its overall waste production (landfill and recycled waste combined), however. In the Waste Minimization category, UNH ranked 90/182 schools in the competition. “Although recycling your waste is a good thing to do, an even better goal is to decrease creating waste in the first place,” says Michele Chapman from the UNH Sustainability Academy that entered data for the competition. “If UNH students can focus on buying less products with packaging, we can do better in this category, and for the planet, in years to come.”




Grand Champion


29.24% Cumulative recycling rate

Per Capita Classic


11.58 lb/person Cumulative recyclables

Waste Minimization


39.61 lb/person Cumulative waste

Gorilla Prize


211227 lbs Cumulative recyclables



4.23 lb/person Cumulative cardboard recyclables



5.36 lb/person Cumulative paper recyclables

Comingled recyclables


2.0 lb/person Cumulative comingled recyclables

Food service organics


3.60 lb/person Cumulative food service organics


2010 Results

  • RecycleMania wrapped up its 10th annual recycling competition in March 2010 with over 84.5 million pounds of recyclables and organics recovered from 607 colleges and universities across the country.

Cumulative UNH Final Results: January 17, 2010 ~ March 27, 2010

  • Grand Champion – 46th out of 267 schools with a cumulative recycling rate of 39.34%
  • Per Capita Classic – 59th out of 346 schools with 20.18 pounds per person
  • Waste Minimization – 115th out of 199 schools with 51.3 pounds of cumulative waste per person
  • Gorilla Prize – 46th out of 346 schools with a total of 335,962 pounds


2009 Results

  • In 2009 UNH came in 68th out of 206 schools in the Grand Champion Competition Division! UNH beat Harvard (75th), Yale (14th5), and UMaine (206th).  UNH recycled 243,000 lbs in 10 weeks, and based on our data UNH has an estimated 30.75% waste diversion rate. Learn more.
  • 510 schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada took part in RecycleMania 2009, which has several competitions like Grand Champion. The 4.7 million students and 1.1 million faculty and staff on these campuses collectively recycled or composted just over 69.4 million pounds of waste over ten weeks.
  • The Ecological Advocates tabled in the MUB. 
  • Gnarlz, the UNH mascot, reminded hockey fans to recycle in the Whittemore Arena.
  • The Operating Staff Council conducted a paper waste pilot study and collected 55 pounds of bulk mail.
  • UNH Dining, Facilities Grounds and Event Support, and Waste Management put in extra effort to report weights each week for different targeted materials.
  • Thanks to everyone’s collaborative effort and the UNH community’s commitment to RecycleMania, UNH went from 91st in the beginning of the competition to 68th in the final round of the Grand Champion division!

Cumulative UNH Final Results: January 18, 2009 ~ March 28, 2009

  • Grand Champion – 68th with a 30.75% recycling rate
  • Per Capita Classic – 95th with 14.24 lbs. recyclables/person
  • Waste Minimization – 74th with 46.32 lbs. waste/person
  • Gorilla Prize – 59th with 242,895 lbs of cumulative recyclables
  • Targeted Paper Competition – 87th with 5.16 lbs. paper/person
  • Targeted Corrugated Cardboard – 61st with 5.75 lbs. cardboard/person
  • Targeted Bottles and Cans – 47th with 3.34 lbs. bottles and cans/person
  • Targeted Food Service Organics – 42nd with 2.33 lbs. food service organics/person


UNH RecycleMania Collaborators