The University finished in the top 15 percent nationally, and sixth among 24 schools statewide, in RecycleMania, a waste-reduction and recycling competition that included 266 colleges and universities.

“Suffolk University is proud to be nationally recognized for our waste-reduction and recycling performance, and we plan to continue our efforts so we can do better each year,” said Campus Sustainability Coordinator Erica Mattison.

The University achieved a ranking of 39 and a recycling rate of 44 percent in the “Grand Champion” category, which determines a school’s recycling rate as a percentage of its overall waste generation.

In the “Waste Minimization” category, which focuses on having the least amount of both recyclables and trash on a per-person basis, the University finished in the top 33 percent nationally and third of 14 schools statewide.

Annual competition

The University has participated in the eight-week-long RecycleMania competition annually since 2007. The competition motivates students, faculty, and staff to demonstrate college spirit by increasing on-campus recycling rates beyond their competitors.

The RecycleMania competition is a great opportunity to generate interest and educate people about the benefits of recycling, according to Mattison.

“Throughout the year, but especially around RecycleMania, we seek out ways to improve our recycling program, such as enhancing signage, utilizing social media, and ensuring that for every trash bin there is an accompanying recycling bin,” she said. “Suffolk uses a data-driven approach, where we use the weekly data from our trash and recycling haulers to identify areas on campus that need extra attention.”

Competing at campus level

The University hosts its own inter-building recycling and waste-reduction competition to coincide with RecycleMania, Miller Hall and the Rosalie Stahl Center were the winning residence hall and academic/administrative buildings, respectively, in the February 2012 competition. To celebrate the accomplishment, student eco-ambassadors hosted an eco-friendly coffee break for occupants in both building lobbies.