RecycleMania 2015

The results of this year’s RecycleMania national recycling competition are in, and we like them. In 2015, for the first time since 2008, EMU finished as the top-ranked school in the state of Virginia. This is impressive, given that the field of competing schools has more than tripled in the past seven years. Overall EMU ranked 53rd out of 232 participating colleges and universities, with a recycling rate of 45.025%, an uptick of a full 4% over last year. To compare with other regional schools, JMU finished 77th with a 39% recycling rate, UVA finished 119th with a 32% recycling rate, and Mary Baldwin finished 226th with a 7% recycling rate.

Take a look at how EMU stacked up against this year’s competition.


Recycling Crew Leader Matthew Freed manages the campus recycling program. He also oversees the Sustainable Food Initiative compost project, in which student workers and volunteers transport 300-500 pounds of dining hall leftovers to the compost pile every other day. Once broken down, this compost is then used in campus gardens, the food from which is then used in the dining hall. When school is not in session, garden produce is preserved by students for future use.

Awards and Honors

EMU continues to be recognized nationally for an innovative and successful recycling program, initiated by Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, who now works as EMU’s Sustainability Coordinator.1 Recycling staff and student workers collect 70 tons of recyclable materials entirely by bicycle, using a custom-built bike pulling a specially-designed 8-foot trailer to 24 recycling points on campus every week. The metal trailer hauls about 300 pounds at a time.

In addition to being named “College and University Recycling Program of the Year” by Virginia Recycling Association in 2008, the recycling program consistently ranks in the top tier of the RecycleMania national non-profit recycling competition for colleges and universities, held each spring.

This short film was produced by students in EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding program, and features EMU’s recycling program, as well as recycling programs around the Shenandoah Valley. It raises some interesting questions about the nature and value of recycling. Check it out!

Recycling Guidelines

Labeled, color-coded recycling bins are placed throughout academic buildings and residence halls and follow a general color scheme:

Blue bins = Bottles and cans
Green bins = Paper
Gray bins = Cardboard

Please download the campus recycling guidelines (PDF) for more detail.

For information about recycling non-standard materials such as plastic bags, electronics, etc., please take a look at these additional guidelines.

Other Info

  • Need additional recycling bins? E-mail
  • Harrisonburg area recycling