Colleges around the country are taking the appropriate steps to properly dispose their waste. In order to increase proper waste removal, a competitive aspect has been implemented in the equation. Over 500 American Universities competed in a month long competition to increase recycling and minimize waste.

The RecycleMania Competition resulted in the proper recycling of over 90.3 pounds of materials. This amazing feat prevented 121,436 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into our atmosphere.

The overwhelming winner was University of Missouri- Kansas City, which recycled over 86.02% of their waste. Other winners included California State University- San Marcos that recycled over 50% of waste per student. This competition yielded great results but there are many other schools that are making sustainability a standard practice.

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Here are some other standout schools in sustainability:

Stanford University– Over the last 5 years this California College has raised over $430 million for its Initiative on Environment and Sustainability.  It also offers over 700 classes that involve sustainability. Although its waste diversion program is only 66%, it is huge improvement.

Green Mountain College– This College in Vermont is living up to its green name. It have created a $5.8 million biomass plant that fuels 85% of the campus’ heat and powers over 24 building. The plant runs completely on local woodchips from the banks of the Poultney River.

Cornell University– This Ivy League University has taken the agriculture approach to sustainability. The campus is equipped with two gorges, 35-acre botanical garden and a 100-acre arboretum. Cornell even has real grass replacing carpet throughout the library. (Pictured above)

Dickinson College: Located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Dickinson has reduced paper waste by 60%. They have implemented a variety of environmental efforts including all campus vehicles run on food grease and have an organic farm that is powered by solar panels.