recyclemania-logoEvery spring, Bowdoin competes in RecycleMania, a national competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs across the United States and Canada to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over an 8-week period, schools report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week and are in turn ranked in various categories based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis, as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling. The Sustainability Office is in charge of collecting Bowdoin's trash and recycling data from all of campus including residence halls, academic buildings and dining halls.

National recognition is provided to the winning school in each category on the RecycleMania website and in a national press release. Winning schools receive an award made out of recyclable materials, and win the right to host that category’s special traveling trophy for the coming year.

Overall Goals for RecycleMania

  1. Motivate students and staff to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste generation.
  2. Generate attention and support for campus recycling programs.
  3. Encourage colleges to measure and benchmark recycling activity in their effort to improve their programs over time.
  4. Have a fair and friendly competition.

Acceptable recyclables include:

  • Newspaper
  • Books
  • Magazines/Catalogs
  • Mixed Paper
  • Tin/Steel/Aluminum
  • Glass
  • Paperboard
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • #1 - #7 Plastic


Have questions about what can or cannot be recycled? View our FAQs page on Bowdoin's Zero-Sort recycling system, or check out the downloadable Zero-Sort poster.

Reach out to the Sustainability Office or your Eco-Rep with any questions!