Awareness is the name of the game this year for the RecycleMania competition. This year UH has a new strategy to win the title in the national recycling competition.

Teams made up of faculty, staff and students will be challenged to help spread the word about recycling instead of collecting recyclables for weekly weigh-ins. This new strategy will still incorporate a friendly on-campus competition, but also encourage the university to work together as a whole for the national contest to increase awareness and recycling on campus.

�The RecycleMania on-campus contest is between teams� awareness campaigns this year instead of a weight campaign. We decided to do this for three reasons: so large teams aren�t bound by the amount of waste they can haul and small teams aren�t bound by how much waste they create; so the message reaches more people on campus; and so we are modeling actual recycling and waste behaviors,� said Leah Wolfthal, Program Coordinator for Sustainability.

Teams can earn points by performing awareness initiatives such as posting on social media, hosting green events, or participating in the RecycleMania Olympics and Art of Recycling contest. This year, the competition categories will be based on the number of members in each team: Compassionate Cougar for groups with 1-5 members; Conservation Houstonian for groups of 6-20; and Sustainability-Savvy Shasta for groups of 21+. The three winning teams will receive a $100 catering credit for their group and a certificate of recognition.

For the national RecycleMania competition, the University of Houston will compete against schools nation-wide in the categories of waste minimization, per capita, gorilla prize and grand champion from February 5 through March 31. Last year, UH placed fourth in Texas in the actual weights competition and third in Texas for waste minimization. This year, UH will get an extra boost to help us succeed after earning a $300 grant from Keep America Beautiful, Inc. to use toward promoting RecycleMania.

Here�s the lineup of events on campus this semester:

February 7, 8 Green Commuter Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., UC Satellite and PGH

February 13 Launch of Recycling Team Contest

March 1 Recycling Team Contest Raffle, 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m., UC north patio

March 22 RecycleMania Olympics, Art of Recycling Contest, Team Raffle, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Butler Plaza

March 30 End of Recycling Team Contest

April 5 Closing Ceremony, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., UC Satellite

For more information on the UH team challenge or the national RecycleMania competition, visit www.uh.edu/recyclemania. Let�s work together to become #1 in Texas this year in the national RecycleMania competition!