The RePaper Challenge Spurs Campuses to Reach 75% Paper Recovery Rate by 2015

With the start of a new school year, a growing coalition of sustainability and recycling organizations, including National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Campus Ecology Program, is engaging with North American campuses to help them boost recycling by tracking and improving their paper recovery rates. From text books to blue books, paper is essential to successful campus recycling programs. Yet while paper recycling rates have slowly increased over the years, they are not keeping up with demand from manufacturers who need recovered paper to produce new, recycled-content stocks. With over 50% of paper still being thrown away on college campuses, there is a need to dig deeper and find those valuable sources of paper. 

“Fall means getting back to the books, but for many students it also means finding new ways to help green their campus,” states Pam Blackledge, coordinator for the RePaper Project and home of the Challenge campaign.  “The RePaper Campus Challenge provides an incentive and opportunity for campuses to track their recovery rates of recycled materials, and to further their efforts by boosting overall performance by increasing their paper recovery rates.”

Many campuses have already pledged to reach a 75% paper recovery rate by 2015, including Harvard University, CU Boulder, University of South Florida and Central Carolina Community College.  Any campus can join the RePaper Campus Challenge and pledge to reach a 75% paper recovery rate by 2015.  In return those campuses will receive tools and resources to reach that rate, and will gain recognition in public materials.

“The success of the RePaper Challenge relies on its endorsing partners,” says Blackledge.  “We’re happy to welcome national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful (KAB) to the growing list of endorsing organizations.”  

If your campus is interested in becoming involved with the RePaper Campus Challenge, please visit to learn more. To learn more about college and university recycling efforts nationwide, check out NWF’s campus sustainability case study database.

Content for this post was based on the RePaper Project Challenge Press Release, September 7, 2011