Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania)

Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) is an eight-week waste reduction competition among colleges and universities across the U.S and Canada.

The competition takes place during U-M’s winter term. The 2022 competition will run from January 30 – March 26. 

Studying or working from home? We’ve got you covered with tips and fun waste reduction challenges for wherever you are! 

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Campus Race to Zero Waste: U-M Edition

Parallel to the national competition, U-M hosts a competition between campus buildings. In the U-M Edition, we challenge participating buildings on the Ann Arbor campus to excel in three competition categories:

  • Diversion Rate – Measures the percentage of total waste diverted from landfill (recycling and compost).
  • Most Improved Diversion Rate – Compares the 2021 diversion rate over the course of the eight weeks to the 2020 diversion rate over the same time period.
  • Waste Reduction – Compares the total waste (recycling, compost, landfill) in the current year to the total waste produced the year before. 
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How to participate

1. Register your building or yourself.

In 2021, you can participate on campus or wherever you are! Sign up to receive weekly emails with rankings, challenges, and tips.

We automatically include all buildings serviced by U-M Waste Management Services (the majority of campus buildings) in the national Campus Race to Zero Waste. But if you’d like your building to be included in U-M Edition, please register so we know to track it and send you weekly updates.

2. Encourage others to reduce their waste and recycle and compost the rest!

We’ll provide a weekly theme, tips, and signage you can use to promote the competition. Encourage your classmates, coworkers, fellow residents, and others using the channels that work best for your audience—signage, social media, newsletters, and more!

Winning buildings receive an award to recognize their efforts.

Questions? Email

Rufus cheering on recycler
Competition Rules

Items included in the competition include:

  • Single-stream recycling
  • Landfill
  • Compost
  • Shredded paper can be included provided you self-report the data no later than one week after the end of the competition. Include dated documentation.​