NMSU Finishes Fourth In National Recycling Contest

Apr 11, 2014

The NMSU Aggie Recycling team works tirelessly to pick up, separate and bale recyclables from all over campus to sell the items on the open market. Proceeds pay for the NMSU recycling program. Left to right are: Jesus Silva, Orlando Gallardo, Ruben Renteria, Omar Moreno, Bart Jones and Fred Madrid. (Courtesy photo)

  New Mexico State University finished in fourth place in the grand champion division of RecycleMania 2014, an annual competition that leverages campus spirit to increase recycling and waste reduction on campuses across the U.S. and Canada.

NMSU’s recycling efforts during the 2014 competition reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to keeping 143 cars off of the road, according to joni newcomer, manager of the NMSU Office of Sustainability.

NMSU has been a leader in RecycleMania in recent years, placing seventh in 2013, fifth in both 2011 and 2012, and second in 2010 in the competition division of the tournament. More than 460 schools representing 5.3 million students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada participated this year. Schools competed in 11 categories to see which recycled the most on a per capita basis, which produced the least amount of waste and which recycled the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. 

“With waste reduction as our overall goal, RecycleMania is a fun way to remind everyone of the importance of taking those extra steps to find the blue bins on campus and deposit your recyclables,” said newcomer. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition.”

Complete results for all 11 categories can be found at, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state and other groupings. The national winners of each category earn bragging rights and are recognized with an award made from recycled materials. 

“With the help of millions of students, RecycleMania competitors have recycled and composted more than 277,800 tons of material since the competition first started in 2001,” said Stacy Wheeler, president of RecycleMania, Inc. “RecycleMania is a powerful tool for colleges and universities to engage students to improve their community environments and the economy through recycling.” 

During this 14th annual tournament, updated weekly rankings allowed schools to track their performance in eight categories – measuring their recycling rate; overall recycling by weight; least amount of total waste; and per capita recovery for paper, cardboard, cans and bottles and food waste. Colleges also participated in special categories targeting electronics, film plastics and material generated in athletic facilities. The “Game Day: Basketball” category ranked schools based on waste reduction and recycling at home basketball games. 

The RecycleMania Tournament is made possible with the sponsorship support of the American Forest & Paper Association, Alcoa Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company and SCA.

NMSU’s Aggie Recycling collects plastic No. 1 (PET and PETE), aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, steel, tires, asphalt, concrete and yard waste. For the RecycleMania competition only, plastic water and soda bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard and paper (all types) are collected and weighed. The weighted amounts get reported weekly to the RecycleMania tournament council. Items can be dropped off at the Aggie Recycling Center between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Items also can be dropped in the many recycling bins on campus. 

For more information about RecycleMania 2014, visit or contact