Clemson ranked #1 in recycling for S.C. schools

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CLEMSON – Clemson University finished first in South Carolina universities in the Grand Champion category of the national RecycleMania tournament.

For several weeks, schools across the country competed against each other in the tournament, which aims to promote sustainability and awareness of recycling. Universities compete to see which can reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste over the span of eight weeks.

Each participating school competes in 11 categories that rank the winning schools based on which recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans, etc., on a per capita basis; which produces the least amount of waste; and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste.

The tournament also has separate categories that recognize successful recycling at sporting events and the recycling of plastic and scrap electronics. This year, there was a social media challenge in which students posted or tweeted their efforts in recycling. Clemson finished fourth in the large school category with more than 130 texts, tweets, and posts.

In addition to placing first in the grand champion category, Clemson placed fifth in the ACC and 99th nationally with a recycling rate of 35 percent, the total amount of trash vs. what was recycled.

For the Gorilla Award, which measures the total amount recycled, Clemson again placed first in South Carolina by recycling 320,495 pounds of plastic bottles, cans, paper, cardboard and food waste. Many of the recycled plastic bottles, as well as a multitude of other recycled materials, were used to create the set of “Eurydice,” a Clemson Players’ production, which led to Clemson’s honorable mention in the Case Study category competition.

“The RecycleMania tournament serves as a reminder to our campus community about the importance of recycling and reducing our reliance upon our natural resources,” said Dave VanDeventer, recycling and custodial services manager.

“It is a good benchmark that indicates how we are doing with our waste management program and how we can improve from year to year. We continue to have success as our recycling totals continue to rise and our waste totals continue to fall,” he said.

Last year, Clemson placed first in South Carolina and third overall in the ACC behind Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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