Our Misson

Using equitable, just, and friendly competition, the Campus Race to Zero Waste provides tools and opportunities that inspire, empower, and mobilize colleges and universities to benchmark and improve efforts to reduce or eliminate waste.


In 2020, the RecycleMania program changed its name to Campus Race to Zero Waste TM. The new name better reflects and reinforces the purpose of the program – to help colleges and universities find pathways toward zero waste (90+% diverted from trash) on campus. A more comprehensive approach, zero waste accounts for everything from increasing recycling and food organics (composting) as a ratio of waste to reducing consumption, food waste, and single-use plastics.

Since 2001, we have engaged more than 1,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada and look forward to continuing to provide competition tools and resources to help campuses reach their waste reduction goals.

About Campus Race to Zero Waste

The Campus Race to Zero Waste is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over an 8-week period each spring, colleges across the United States and Canada 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.  With each week’s updated ranking, participating schools follow their performance against other colleges and use the results to rally their campus to reduce and recycle more.

National recognition is provided to the winning school in each category on the 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.

RecycleMania, Inc. governs all aspects of the program including the rules and structure of the competition. 

Overall Goals for Campus Race to Zero Waste

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