CMC Rifle and Steamboat Pilot Waste Minimization

The Rifle and Steamboat Springs campuses have volunteered this winter to pilot a waste minimization program called RecycleMania. Don’t be fooled by the title. RecycleMania is a friendly benchmarking competition that promotes solid waste reduction and emphasizes the reduction of resource consumption on campus. Rewards are given to the campuses that generate the least amount of combined solid waste and recyclables over a 10-week period.

Solar panels and meadowThe RecycleMania program began the week of January 23rd and it will end the week of April 2nd. Throughout the 10-week competition facilities staff, campus green team members and students from these campuses have been working together to record and report their weekly volume of corrugated cardboard, paper, commingled recycling, and solid waste trash. The campuses are also engaged in promoting three specific waste reduction practices. Both the Rifle and Steamboat Campus’s chose to participate in the following practices: Implementing printing initiatives that encourages paper reduction; designing programs that educate employees and students about waste management and waste reduction practices; creating a system for the campus to report wasteful practices and offer suggestions for waste reduction actions.

At the Steamboat Campus, members of the Students for Sustainability group are writing informative articles for their campus newspaper about waste reduction practices. Students are also looking at systematic approaches to increase recycling efforts and to educate their fellow classmates on how to reduce their solid waste and energy consumption in the resident hall.

CMC Work Study student Jessica chips in for recycling

The printing stations at the Rifle Campus have signs that encourage students, faculty, and staff to print on both sides of the paper & to limit their printing when possible. Rifle’s education efforts include recycling and waste reduction discussions and activities during new student orientation and the inclusion of a new recycling practices information sheet in the new employee folder.  The Rifle campus green team is also encouraging its campus members to report any wasteful practices they see happening on campus and to offer possible solutions that can help make a positive change.

The RecycleMania waste minimization program fulfills a requirement of the American College and Presidents’ Climate Commitment. You can check out the results at

By Lynne Cassidy, CMC Sustainability Coordinator