Reduce, recycle,reward

Northern Kentucky University hopes to reduce waste through its participation in ‘Recyclemania.’

‘Recyclemania,’ which is in its second year at NKU, is a 10-week competition among 514 universities to see who can recycle the most trash.
According to Glenn Scott, the supervisor of laborers at NKU, NKU produces two tons of paper, one ton of cardboard, and 3/4 ton of co-mingle, which is a combination of plastic and aluminum.

‘We want to reduce the amount of waste leaving campus,’ Scott said. ‘Last week each person produced five pounds of trash over the whole week. We would like to reduce that number by one pound per person.’

Last year, NKU’s average waste was 3.99 pounds per person. After six weeks NKU has averaged 6.14 pounds per person.

NKU tracks its own weight by using an EPA approved volume conversion scale. A group of NKU ‘Recyclemania’ members go around to each dumpster at night and use the EPA scale to determine how much waste is leaving the university. The scale converts weight by the size of the dumpster, compared to how much trash is in the dumpster. At the end of the week a report is submitted online to, to determine how much trash has been used.

The competition is broken into two divisions: Benchmark and Competition. NKU participates in the Competition division.

The Competition division is the official competition, according to the ‘Recyclemania’ Web site. There are four requirements schools must meet in order to be a part of the Competition division. NKU must be a degree granting college or university in North America, participate with entire campus, be able to track and report data according to the standards outlined and have an official contact person responsible for reporting weights.