RecycleMania 2019

 2019 RecycleMania Goal:


Save Our Recycling!

Reduce contamination of SU's recycling before... our recycling will be sent to the landfill!

Learn more about SU's state of recycling, here.


 This picture shows all of the waste that was sorted in our annual Garbology event.

Here is all of the waste from one day at SU sorted at our annual GARBOLOGY event!




Did you know?


It is SU's goal to divert 80% of waste from the landfill by 2020?



That 50% of our trash is actually compostable?



That all of SU's pre-consumers food waste is composted on campus and reused on our grounds?







2018 RecycleMania at SU Video



 Recyclemania 2019 Tournament


Go to:

Recyclemania 2019 Results

Seattle University placed 20th overall for waste diversion. See scorecard and press release below to see how Seattle University compared to other major schools in the 2019 Recyclemania competition!

score card showing SU's diversion rate during the weeks of the Recyclemania event

View the Recyclemania 2019 Press Release here

What is RecycleMania?

RecycleMania is a 8-week long competition between colleges across the U.S. and Canada that tracks the amount of each institutions’ weekly recycling, composting, and trash rates! A few of the universities we are competing against include the University of Washington, Washington State University, Stanford, Yale, and Harvard. Last year, SU placed sixth overall (see our 2018 results here)This year's competition runs from February 3-March 30, 2019. Each week, participating schools will be ranked in different categories based on how well and how much they minimize waste and divert from the landfill! We will post our weekly ranking on this page, so STAY TUNED for competition updates!

What is SU's 2019 RecycleMania Goal? Save our recycling!


  • SU took 20th place with with a final diversion rate (recycling plus composting) of 56.4%
  • 15 volunteers over 5 hours, sorting 449lbs of waste during Garbology: Raiders of the Lost Recycling event
    • We sorted 449lbs of “recyclables” from across all public recycling stations on campus
    • 350lbs of recyclable waste (78% of total weight)
    • 23lbs of compostable waste (5% of total weight)
    • 76lbs of landfill waste (17% of total weight)
  • 5000lbs of donation items and electronic recycling were collected by the university on Community Recycling Day.
  • An additional 2179lbs of e-waste was collected over the 8-week period

2019 RecyleMania Competition Details: GET INVOLVED!

1. Attend and Volunteer! 

The next 8 weeks will be full to the brim with fun, interactive and educational waste events! We are asking YOU to join us for some or all of the below activities. Come and connect with other wonderful SU community members who are vested in working towards a just and sustainable world!

  • First, take the online RECYCLEMANIA AT SU PLEDGE and do your part to minimize waste on campus and throw your "stuff" in the right bin!
  • TUESDAY, 01/29, 11:00am-2:00pm (Student Center 2nd floor at C-street). RecycleMania 2019 KICKOFF--Tabling at C-street.  
  • TUESDAY, 2/19, 10:00AM-3:00PM (LEML Plaza - Quad in front of the library) GARBOLOGY IV--Raiders of the Lost Recycling. SU Campus members: come and see the mound of recycling waste from one day at SU, find out what we throw away in the wrong bin, and educate others about itSEE MORE EVENT DETAILS HERE and SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER. 
  • FRIDAY, 02/22, 12:00PM-2:00PM (STCN at C-street) Seattle Public Utilities will table at C-street to answer all your questions about recycling at SU! Interested in tabling with SPU? SIGN UP HERE TO VOLUNTEER.
  • TUESDAY, 02/26, 6:00-7:00PM (Pigott 203) "What Goes Where?" WASTE SORTING WORKSHOP for Students, Staff, and Faculty, facilitated by Recology-Cleanscapes, the SU Facilities Recycling shop, and the SU Green Team. SEE MORE EVENT DETAILS HERE
  • TUESDAY, 03/05, 7:00am-1:00pm (Bellarmine Turnaround, at flagpole). COMMUNITY RECYCLING DAY 2019. Bring your hard-to recycle items such as electronics, styrofoam, etc. from your home and office and get them recycled for FREE.  Also, SEE MORE EVENT DETAILS HERE and SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER.
  • March 11- 15th at lunchtime (12:30pm-1:30pm), we will need 2 volunteers each day to stand near the waste bins in C-Street, to "talk trash" and provide a brief "Recycling 101". Volunteers will receive notes on waste sorting beforehand. Sign up to volunteer here!

 For more details about these events, email Nathan Wolk, SU's Recycling Coordinator and Compost Technician, at

2. Make small lifestyle changes!

Small lifestyle changes not only reduce the waste you produce, but also encourage others to do the same! Here are some tangible ways to make a difference:

  • Only take the food serving you can finish and help SU reduce its food waste
  • Use a reusable water bottle and reduce plastic waste on campus
  • Use a reusable mug. Bring your own mug to any campus cafe and get a 20-cent discount on hot drinks and soda
  • Use reusable dishware instead of to-go boxes and help reduce waste on campus
  • Educate yourself on what materials are recyclable and compostable - see some resources below!

The EPA breaks down some tangible ideas to make a difference for different environments and people

3. Learn! 

It is estimated that roughly 75% of the waste stream in the United States is recyclable, but only about 30% is actually recycled (EPA, 2018). 

What is Recycling?

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community, the economy and the environment. -EPA, December 2017


Why is it so important?

Even though Recycling is commonly advertised as a positive practice, there are far more reasons for this than those that may seem obvious. 

  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals
  • Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources
  • Helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States



Find out what waste goes in which bin!

Quickly learning correct waste disposal habits can change the way you and people around you dispose of waste for the rest of your life! Skim through some of these resources to get informed! 



Check out Seattle Public Utilities' YouTube playlist to see what goes in which bins


Check out this breakdown of waste products released by the EPA


Skim through this flyer below to check out some of the most common compostable and recyclable materials:



Where does Seattle's Trash go?


Thank you for your support in making our campus SUstainable!

Contact Nathan Wolk at with any questions.