CNM Goes for Green during National RecycleMania Tournament

January 25, 2017 -- Get ready to ramp up your recycling efforts CNM. For the fourth year in a row, CNM is participating in the National RecycleMania Tournament with nearly 400 colleges and universities around the country, beginning Feb. 6. For eight weeks, colleges across the U.S. and Canada will report the amount of recycling and trash that’s collected each week, then they’ll be ranked in various categories.
January 25, 2017

Standings will be updated weekly and winning schools will receive an award made out of recyclable materials, as well as national bragging rights. In last year’s RecycleMania event, CNM recycled 52 percent of its waste, ranking 30th out of 207 schools competing in the “Grand Champion” division.

In addition to the college’s overall recycling rates, CNM is planning eight weeks of recycling activities, including a kickoff educational event, go-green social media contests and a YouTube video competition focused on recycling.

“This annual event is designed to make students and staff be more aware of recycling and the benefits it has to our college,” said Molly Blumhoefer, CNM’s Campus as a Living Lab and Sustainability Project Manager. “Our goal is to provide hands-on activities to improve our recycling efforts at CNM.”

On Feb. 6, Waste Management will begin to track recyclables from each campus to find out which CNM population recycles the most per capita. The main kick-off event is on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on the Main Campus Student Resource Center lawn. CNM students and employees are encouraged to come by to learn how they can participate in the multi-campus recycling competition. There will be a “how to” recycle demo, activities, competitions and prizes.

Week two (Feb. 13-17) will feature a Latin Love Fest, which is a sustainability collaboration between CNM and the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) on Valentine’s Day. CNM will provide recycling services at the event, which will be held at the NHCC. Faculty, staff and students will volunteer their time to manage the recycling portion of this festive night, which will be full of music, dancing and community celebrations. Volunteers get free admission to the event. Faculty can help by encouraging their students to get involved. For more information, email or

Also during week two, to help inspire people to reduce the amount of trash CNM sends to the landfill, students and employees will be encouraged to take photographs holding their reusable containers and post them on social media. Check out the CNM Sustainability Website after Feb. 5 to learn how to post the pictures. The photo with the most “likes” wins. Students throw away hundreds of paper cups every year that are not recyclable due to the plastic coating on the inside of the cups. This contributes to a lot of waste going to the landfill and a lot of cost to CNM.

First- and second-place winners receive prizes and will be featured on the CNM Sustainability website and on posters in the Sun Catfés on CNM’s campuses. Students, faculty and staff will always receive a discount price on a coffee refill if they bring their own reusable container, as long as it is under 32 ounces.

More social media photo contests will be announced later.

During week three (Feb 20-24), students will be asked to adopt a recycle bin with fellow classmates. They’ll decorate their bins in a way that educates the public on recycling. For more information, rules and regulations, contact Blumhoefer at or visit the CNM Sustainability website after Feb. 5. Recycling bins will be judged by CNM’s Sustainability Curriculum Committee. Winners will be featured on the CNM Sustainability website and will receive prizes.

Week four (Feb. 27-March 3) will promote the reuse of water containers to reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfills. People will be encouraged to get their water from on-campus hydration stations.

Week five (March 6-10) will focus on recycling fabrics/clothing. About 10.5 million tons of fabric per year goes into landfills, giving textiles one of the poorest recycling rates of any reusable material.

During week six (March 13-17), students, faculty and staff will compile a list of no-cost activities that they think would bring awareness to recycling on campus. They should send the list to The participant with the best idea wins a prize.

As part of week seven (March 20-24), you’re encouraged to express your thoughts about recycling. Thoughts can be a response to any of the following questions:

-- Why do you reduce, reuse and recycle?

-- What do you think will inspire others to reduce, reuse and recycle?

-- Is there a funny situation that you experienced that involved reduce, reuse and/or recycling?

-- Any other thoughts on the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle)?

Responses should be sent to Participants may see their quotes posted at the Sun Catfés around campus or on the CNM Sustainability website.

The final week of RecycleMania (March 27-April 1) is YouTube week. Many people don’t recycle correctly, because they haven’t been informed about how to do it. Make a short one-to-three minute video about single-stream recycling on campus. The best video will be featured on CNM’s Sustainability website and may be shown to students, faculty and staff at orientation and other special events. Send all media files to