In an effort to promote sustainability, UCSB will participate in RecycleMania – a 10-week long recycling competition – for the first time this winter.

The nationwide competition includes over 400 universities and is designed to increase recycling participation by students, faculty and staff around campus. The Associated Students Recycling Program and UCSB Sustainability are spearheading the on-campus effort and are seeking to promote recycling programs and lower waste generated at UCSB.

Although the competition runs from Jan. 18 to March 28, the recycling campaign on campus has already begun.

ASRP Coordinator Ryan Kintz said the organizations are going to familiarize students with recycling practices, which he said he hopes will help UCSB succeed in RecycleMania.

“Regardless of the competition, the UCSB community needs to increase its recycling rate, decrease overall consumption and spread awareness about proper recycling practices,” Kintz said.

Publicity events next week will coincide with UCSB’s Campus Sustainability Week and will include information in the dining commons, flyers in the residence halls and tabling around campus.

To further advertise recycling programs and kick off the competition Winter Quarter, ASRP and Associated Students Program Board will host a zero waste concert in the Hub on Jan. 24.

Kintz said all aspects of the campus need to be committed to sustainable practices in order to succeed in the competition.

“Everyone on campus uses resources to work and study,” Kintz said. “Office pack or office paper is the most used material on campus. One small example for reducing consumption would be if everyone printed double-sided. If everyone performed this small practice of waste reduction, we would reduce paper consumption by half.”

RecycleMania features four primary competitions for universities to participate in.

The Stephen K. Gaski Per Capita Classic compares the amount of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans per person, while the Waste Minimization competition allows schools to compete for the lowest amount of waste produced.

The Gorilla Prize is awarded to the school that recycles the highest tonnage of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans. The Targeted Materials competition allows schools to compete in four categories – paper, corrugated cardboard, food service organics and bottles and cans.

Throughout the competition, MarBorg Industries will report weights of all trash and recycling to the ASRP on a weekly basis. This information will be sent to the RecyleMania Committee and the exact tonnage of UCSB’s waste compared to that of other universities will be available for viewing on the RecycleMania Web site.

The school that achieves the highest recycling rate as a percentage of overall waste production will receive the Grand Champion award.