Penn Joins National College Recycling Competition

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Media Contact:Barbara Lea-Kruger | | 215-898-2698January 15, 2008

PHILADELPHIA –- The University of Pennsylvania has joined with more than 100 colleges and universities in RecyleMania, a friendly competition to help reduce waste. From Jan. 28 to April 1, campuses across the country will compete to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables and the least amount of trash per capita. There will also be a competition for the highest recycling rate.

“President Amy Gutmann’s signing of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment last February demonstrated Penn’s determination to seriously address the issue of global climate change,” Anne Papageorge, vice president of facilities and real estate services, said. “Waste reduction is an important component of reducing the University’s carbon footprint, and RecycleMania is a great way to draw attention to this issue across the Penn community.”

The University will compete in the Per Capita Classic, which measures the amount of recyclables per person. Penn will report its total campus statistics, which includes all waste and recycling collected from all campus buildings. According to Papageorge, the University currently recycles 18 and 20 percent of its waste.

“This first year, we are focusing on raising the awareness aspect of RecycleMania rather than on the competitive one,” Papageorge said. “While much is being done at Penn to decrease our carbon footprint, we have more work ahead of us. This effort will help us determine areas where we are successful and those where we need to improve.”

During the competition, there will be a series of events and activities aimed at increasing student awareness about recycling, beginning with Kick-off Week, Jan. 22–25.

“Recycling is also about re-use of materials, said Ryan Weicker, vice chair of the Residential Advisory Board and a member of Penn’s RecycleMania planning committee. “Our events are aimed at encouraging everyone in the Penn community to do more. “

At Penn, RecycleMania is a collaborative effort between Business Services (Housing, Dining), College Housing and Academic Services, Facilities and Real Estate Services, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the Penn Environmental Group and the University Assembly.

Additional information on Penn RecycleMania events is available at Weekly recycling totals can also be tracked at the Web site. Additional information about RecycleMania is available at

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