Colorado State University Ready for RecycleMania With New Waste Reduction Efforts

RecycleMania, a nationwide recycling and waste reduction competition among more than 650 universities, kicks off Feb. 3 and continues through March 30. Colorado State University students, faculty and staff will participate.

CSU has placed in the top 5 percent each year for the 10 years the university has competed. Universities compete to recycle or reduce the most pounds of waste from their landfill stream. The competition tracks both overall recycling rates per capita on campus and waste reduction efforts.

To boost waste reduction, CSU will launch a pilot program with the City of Fort Collins on Monday, Feb. 4, to divert food waste from the dining centers to the city’s Drake Water Reclamation Facility as part of a pilot commercial food waste-to-clean-energy program.

About 1,000 pounds of food waste from two CSU dining centers is already taken to Housing & Dining Services’ in-vessel composter on the Foothills Campus. The new partnership with the city will allow CSU to expand composting to all dining centers operated by Housing & Dining Services. The pilot program will initially divert an additional 1,000 pounds of food waste a day and volumes may be increased as the pilot program progresses.

Food waste includes fruit rinds, bones, salad trimmings and plate waste, which is processed by pulpers in the dining centers to remove and recirculate excess water and prep the food waste for the treatment plant. The food waste will be burned in the Drake Water Reclamation Facility’s anaerobic digesters and the methane generated will be used to heat the plant process and buildings.

“RecycleMania is a great engagement opportunity because it is based on per capita tracking so it includes every single student, faculty and staff member on campus,” says Tim Broderick, CSU’s Housing & Dining Services sustainability coordinator. “Every item that is recycled on campus and every effort to reduce our waste stream boosts our ranking and also helps the planet – it’s a win-win.”

The university’s Live Green Team also sponsors an on-campus competition during RecycleMania among CSU’s residence halls and university apartment communities. The winning hall and apartment win the coveted RecycleMania trophy as well as funds to further green efforts in their community. The winners will be recognized at the Student Sustainability Fair and Earth Day Celebration on April 18.

To learn more about recycling on campus, visit

To learn more about the compost program visit