UNL leads Big Ten in paper, cardboard recycling


UNL has grabbed an early lead among Big Ten universities competing in RecycleMania, a friendly recycling competition.

The eight-week competition, which includes more than 500 universities across the United States and Canada, started Feb. 3. In results from the first two weeks, UNL led all Big Ten schools in the paper category with 2.056 pounds of paper recycled per person on campus. The average ranked UNL 20th overall in the RecycleMania paper recycling category.

UNL is also first in the Big Ten in recycling cardboard, with .886 pounds gathered per person. That total is 68th in the nation.

While UNL should be happy with the initial result, campus recycling coordinators Prabhakar “Prabs” Shrestha and Jeff Henson said faculty, staff and students should continue to push for more recycling.

“Remember, this is an eight week competition and we have just started,” Henson said. “It is important to continue to recycle when you can and to encourage your friends and co-workers to do the same.”

Through the first two weeks, UNL is 6th in the Big Ten and 43rd in the nation with 85,229 pounds recycled.

"This is around 26 percent more than last year's totals for the first two weeks of the competition," said Shrestha. “We would like to thank the university community for participating in RecylceMania and helping us to this point."

To raise awareness of recycling and campus sustainability practices, UNL Recycling is organizing a photo and video contest for students. To compete, students must submit a photo or video themed around recycling or sustainability activities on UNL Recycling's Facebook page. The submission with the most "likes" and comments will receive a cash prize. The competition also includes jury awards for best photo and best video. The submission deadline is March 2.

RecycleMania measures waste, recycled paper, recycled cardboard and recycled plastics to judge each schools performance in the five areas of competition: Per Capita Classic (total recyclables per capita), Waste Minimization (total diversion per capita), Grand Champion (percentage recycled), Gorilla Prize (highest volume of recyclables collected) and Target Materials (highest volume of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans collected).

For more information, go to http://recycling.unl.edu or contact Shrestha or Henson at 402-472-9139.