RecycleMania 2020

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2020 Recyclemania Results

Seattle University took sixth place out of 145 schools across North America in the waste diversion category of this year’s RecycleMania. Normally an eight-week competition through which colleges and universities closely track and compare their recycling and composting rates, this year’s RecycleMania took place over five weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When all was said and done, SU comfortably met its goal of finishing in the top 10 nationally and was #1 in Washington state. The university’s final diversion rate (recycling plus composting) of 69.5 percent was a vast improvement over last year’s performance of 56.4 percent.
And the redhawks won't stop there. We hope to improve even more in following years to reach our goal of diverting 90% of waste by 2025. SEE THE FINAL PRESS RELEASE FOR RECYCLEMANIA 2020 HERE and view the scorecard below to see how Seattle University compared to other major schools in the 2019 Recyclemania competition! 

See the final press release for RecycleMania 2020 here


What is RecycleMania?

RecycleMania is an 8-week long competition between colleges across the U.S. and Canada to reduce waste and engage campus communities in waste reduction efforts. This year's competition runs from February 2-March 28, 2020. Each week colleges will track the amount of their institutions’ recycling, composting, and trash. SU is bench-marking itself against the Gonzaga University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford University, Eastern Washington University and University of Oregon. Each week, participating schools will be ranked in different categories based on how well and how much they minimize waste and divert from the landfill! We will post our weekly ranking on this page, so STAY TUNED for competition updates


2020 RecyleMania Competition Details: GET INVOLVED!

1. Participate! 

We are asking YOU to join us for some or all of the below activities. Come and connect with other wonderful SU community members who are vested in working towards a less wasteful world!  A list of all RecycleMania 2020 Events at SU, see here.

  • January 27th-31st: RecycleMania 2019 KICKOFF--Tabling at C-street. , 12:00pm-2:00pm at C-Street Market
  • January 27th-31st: Weigh the Waste at C-Street Market, throughout the week. VOLUNTEERS needed! Sign up here
  • February 5th: What Goes Where Workshop, PIGOTT 102,  12:30pm-1:30pm. More details about this event here
  • February 5th: Zero Waste Trivia Night, Hawksnest Bistro (STCN 3rd Floor) at 6:00pm-7:00pm. More details about this event here
  • February 12th: Community Recycling Day Bellarmine Turnaround -1111 E Columbia St (Between Bellarmine Hall and Sullivan Hall School of Law), 8:00am-2:00pm. For a full list of accepted items, see hereWe are in need of VOLUNTEERS! Sign uhereMore details about this event here
  • February 27th: Zero Waste Teaching KitchenNeighborhood Eats (C-Street Market) at 5:30pm-6:30pm. More details about this event here
  • CANCELLED March 5th: Game Day! 'Zero Waste Basketball', Redhawk Center, starts at 7:00pm. We are in need of VOLUNTEERS! Sign up hereMore details about this event here. Due to the guidance we’ve received from the university and public health agencies related to COVID-19, the Zero Waste basketball game is cancelled. 
  • CANCELLED March 11th: Garbology V 'Recycling Recovery from the Living Dead', LEML Plaza (Quad in front of the Library) at 10:00am-3:00pm. We are in need of VOLUNTEERSSign up hereMore details about this event here. Due to the guidance we’ve received from the university and public health agencies related to COVID-19, the Garbology event is cancelled. We’ll keep you informed if we decide to organize the event at a later date.

 For more details about these events, check out the CEJS Events page here

2. Be the Change!

Small lifestyle changes not only reduce the waste you produce, but also encourage others to do the same! Here are some tangible ways to make a difference:

  • In trash cans on SU campus, 50% of waste found is actually compostable, 13% is recyclable (2018 data). We can do better! Support SU in its goal to divert 80% of its waste from the landfill by 2020.
  • Find out "What Goes Where" and choose the right bin next time you need to throw stuff away.
  • Have any difficult-to-recycle items in your office (cell phones, toner cartridges, styrene foam,...): see here what to do with those.
  • Not sure what to do with your batteries? Put them in an envelope labeled ‘SU Recycling’ and slip them into any on-campus mailbox. They will be properly taken care of!
  • Donate rather than throw away: Have any electronics, furniture, or other items in your office or dorms you want to get rid off? Consider donating to local non-profits.
  • Repair rather than replace: instead of throwing out items after they break, have them repaired. Check out DIY tutorials on youtube or get them professionally repaired.
  • How much plastic do you consume? Take this quiz to find out what your plastic footprint is! Here are 11 easy ways to reduce your plastic waste.Or use this tool by the Earth Day Network to calculate your personal plastic consumption, create your personal plastic plan, and track your progress.
  • Seattle University is a plastic water bottle-FREE campus. Use your reusable water bottle at all times, both on and off campus.
  • Processing recyclables and compost takes large amounts of energy. A few easy ways to reduce even recyclable and compostable waste is to use reusable mugs (you get a discount at C-street and almost all coffee shops in Seattle!) and C-Street reusable plates instead of clamshells and compostables.
  • Only take the food serving you can finish 
  • Educate yourself on what materials are recyclable and compostable - see some resources below!

3. Learn! 


Recycling one ton of office paper can save the energy equivalent of consuming 322 gallons of gasoline. (EPA, 2019). 


Why reducing our waste matters?

  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources
  • Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States


More Resources

Check out Seattle Public Utilities' YouTube playlist to see what goes in which bins

Check out this breakdown of waste products released by the EPA


Thank you for your support in making our campus SUstainable!

Visit the Official RecycleMania Website at


2020 Recyclemania Result:

SU placed #6/145 schools in the waste diversion competition! Read more here. 

2020 RecycleMania Goal:


Did you know? 

  • It is SU's goal to divert 90% of waste from the landfill by 2025?
  • That 50% of our trash is actually compostable?
  • That all of SU's pre-consumers food waste is composted on campus and reused on our grounds?

SeattleU's Waste Signage

Spread the word: use the following media kit materials and hang them around in your office, SU kitchen, dorms, bulletin boards... and send on to everyone you know:


Make sure all recyclables are clean before you put them in the bin, if you are unsure if it is recyclable or not, just throw it out!