Bears retain national RecycleMania title

, UC Berkeley April 22, 2014


It’s finally decided: UC Berkeley has successfully defended its title in the national collegiate waste-diversion competition, Recyclemania. Judges announced recently that, for the second year in a row, the Bears took first place in the national “Game Day” competition, with a waste-diversion rate of 93 percent at its March 8 men’s basketball home game against University of Colorado Boulder (which Cal won 66-65).

Victory is sweet, double victory even sweeter: the Bears prevailed in hoops as well as recycling at their 2014 Recyclemania Game Day.

Berkeley’s latest RecycleMania win was a close one,  “since Cornell was only 1.3 percent behind us, and our Pac12 competition, Arizona State, was only 5.5 percent behind,” says Lin King, manager of Campus Recycling and Refuse Services.

CRRS led the campus effort, with weeks of strategizing and planning for the national contest involving about 600 colleges and universities.

By working with Cal Dining, nearly all food-related items at the Game Day challenge “were either compostable or recyclable, significantly helping in achieving the high diversion rate,” King says.

At half-time, Cal Athletics’ Fan Experience team put on a half-time event to teach people how to accurately dispose of their waste: Two student participants competed in a composting and recycling toss on the court and won prizes donated by Cal Dining. And a post-game waste audit was performed on the landfill waste stream to further divert waste, King says.

Before the game, Student Projects Redefining Our University’s Trash (SPROUTS) hosted an activity with RecycleMania-themed giveaways at the Kids’ Zone.

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