Since 2010, Purdue University has been taking part in RecycleMania, an annual spring recycling competition among hundreds of universities across the United States and Canada. The goal of this friendly competition is to increase recycling rates and reduce overall waste, while competing against other universities.
Over an 8-week period each spring, the colleges 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, 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.
In the 2012 contest, Purdue ranked 16th in the Gorilla Prize category, 81st in the Grand Champion category, 85th in the Waste Minimization category and 126th in the Per Capita Classic.
In 2013, Purdue ranked 10th out of 331 institutions and first in Indiana in the Gorilla Prize category. Purdue ranked 72nd out of 250 institutions in the Grand Champion category, 81st out of 167 institutions in the Waste Minimization category and 96th out of 361 institutions in the Per Capita Classic.
In the 2014 competition, Purdue ranked 4th out of 336 institutions and first in Indiana in the Gorilla Prize category. Purdue ranked 55th out of 256 institutions in the Grand Champion category, 97th out of 149 institutions in the Waste Minimization category and 66th out of 332 institutions in the Per Capita Classic.
In 2015, Purdue Finished 15th in the Gorilla Prize and 72nd in the Grand Champion category. Purdue faced heightened competition in 2015 from new Big Ten school Rutger's dropping Purdue to second place in the Big Ten in the Grand Champion Category. Purdue managed to win the Gorilla Prize Champion and Food Waste Champion for the state of Indiana.
In 2016, Purdue managed to hold onto our title in the Gorilla Prize Category in Indiana by a large margin finishing 16th overall. Purdue increased our diversion rate to 44% in the Grand Champion category but saw a lower ranking from 2015 as Iowa raised their diversion rate tremendously to knock us out of second place in the Big Ten.