Hulkamania swept the World Wrestling Federation and the nation (yes, it swept the nation) in the early 80s when legendary actor (yes, legendary) and wrestler Hulk Hogan tossed opponents like the Iron Sheik as if they were bags of beer bottles and soda cans being sent out for recycling. Sidebar: It’s interesting how Hogan’s 1984 pinning of the Iranian Iron Sheik during the Reagan administration, serves as metaphor for the vision of America’s conservative elite. But we digress.

This year, the University of Pennsylvania hopes to increase the amount of recycling it throws around (or away) during Recyclemania. PENN is among 600+ campuses nationwide participating in the competition to see which institution of higher learning can achieve the lowest stream waste and the greatest recycling rate. PENN has set its goal for recycling glass, metal, plastic, paper and cardboard three percentage points higher than usual, at 32%.

Red and Blue and Green

Various initiatives around campus will constitute efforts to accomplish the goal. The School of Engineering and Applied Science plans to expand its battery recycling program, and Facilities and Real Estate Services will offer improved campus bin-consolidation where single trash cans will be paired with single-or-duel-stream cans.

In the past few years, as environmental-friendliness has dominated the press, Philly has amped-up its own recylemania. Starting this year, all plastics numbers one through seven can be collected. And a few years ago, the Recycling Rewards program, which weighs recycled waste-per-block and distributes points that translate into discounts that members who live on said block can use at local retail locations, launched with great success. During its pilot program from 2005 to 2007 in West Oak Lane, recycling participation rates increased from 7% to 93%. Not bad, eh? In Chestnut Hill, participation rates increased from around 20% to more than 90%.

In a city of more than 550K households, and thousands of boozing college students, Recylemania could be every week come collection time. Props to PENN, who was also recently named to the EPA’s list of Top 50 Purchasers of Green Power.

24 inch pythons! Photo from

–Lou Mancinelli