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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh competed in a different type of March Madness but against similar foes from the Ivy League, Big Ten, Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference.

RecycleMania is a 10-week competition aimed at promoting waste reduction and recycling by measuring the amount each school recycles weekly from Jan. 17 to March 27.

More than 600 universities and colleges spanning the U.S. and Canada participated in separate competition and benchmark divisions, the difference being in the competition division, schools’ results are officially posted and eligible to win in a given category.

“This is a great opportunity for the University to show that sustainability is a focus,” said Seth Block, a UW Oshkosh student involved with RecycleMania.

UW Oshkosh is in the competition division and finished in 15th place out of 266 schools in the Grand Champion division with a cumulative recycling rate of 51 percent, which demonstrates a high achievement in both source reduction and recycling.

“This competition shows that we are putting effort into being sustainable and we are getting results despite the limited resources that we have in comparison to other schools who budget for this contest,” Block said.

Block graduated in 2009, but re-enrolled in Environmental Studies 390 at UW Oshkosh to sharpen his knowledge because he will soon enroll in the environment and resources graduate program at UW-Madison.

In the third year UW Oshkosh has participated in the contest, Block and his fellow classmates stepped up promotional efforts by asking students to pledge to recycle, arranging a recycling pit outside of Reeve and hiring an artist to build a trash sculpture on campus April 22-23.

“The class shows us our waste and forces us to deal with it,” Block said. “Hopefully it will help us educate others and make educated decisions ourselves.”

For more information and complete final results of RecycleMania 2010, visit http://recyclemaniacs.org/Results.aspx.

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