Get ready for RecycleMania 2020

20th anniversary of national competition that began at Miami and Ohio universities

By Susan Meikle, university news and communications

recyclemania-logoHelp Miami get back in the game and be a leader in campus recycling when RecycleMania 2020 kicks off Feb. 2.

The competition — during which schools compete to recycle the most during the eight-week tournament period — celebrates its 20th year and hundreds of millions of pounds of waste recycled.

Did you know RecycleMania began at Miami?

RecycleMania began in 2001 between Miami and Ohio universities. Stacy Edmonds Wheeler (M.En. ‘99) , who was then recycling coordinator at Miami, and Ed Newman, then recycling coordinator at Ohio University, co-founded the tournament as a friendly competition to help motivate students to recycle more.

The competition doubled to include four schools in 2002 (Miami, Ohio, Bowling Green State and Harvard universities).

Now, RecycleMania involves hundreds of schools and engages millions of students each year, according to Wheeler, who is now president of RecycleMania, Inc.

For the record, Miami won RecycleMania three times in its first five years and placed in the top four the three following years (2006-2008).

Not just for students: RecycleMania involves the entire campus. That means you!


Olivia Herron (left), sustainability coordinator, and Cecil Okotah, recycling coordinator (both graduate students in environmental science), promote recycling at Miami's Lean Fair 2020.

After a hiatus of a few years, Miami will participate in the original and largest RecycleMania category, the Stephen K. Gaski Per Capita Classic.

It is named in honor of the late Steve Gaski, former director of building and special services at Miami and an early supporter of RecycleMania.  

During the eight-week Per Capita Classic, schools compete to see which can collect the most combined recyclables per person, based on total campus population: on- and off-campus students, faculty and staff.

Miami will also participate in three one-time reporting categories:

  • Gameday Basketball: Men’s Basketball and Recycling vs. Ohio University, March 6
  • Race to Zero Waste: 5 buildings, 4 weeks, aim for 0 waste
  • Electronics Waste

What can be recycled —or not — on campus?

Rumpke Waste & Recycling collects recycled materials from the single-stream blue bins on campus.

A list of currently-accepted recyclables is on the sustainability website.

Stayed tuned for RecycleMania updates and recycling tips in Miami Matters, and follow Miami University sustainability on social media:

Contact Adam Sizemore, director of sustainability, at