American University’s Office of Sustainability and Zero Waste Office encourage the campus community to participate in the annual Campus Race to Zero Waste national competition. During the eight-week competition, taking place now through March 26, AU will compete with colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada to benchmark waste minimization and recycling efforts against other schools.
Campus Race to Zero Waste, formerly known as RecycleMania, is designed to help colleges and universities find pathways towards zero waste – 90-plus percent diversion from trash – by providing tools and opportunities that inspire, empower, and mobilize campuses.
Through a combination of weight tracking, programming events, and social media activity, AU aims to shift norms around plastics consumption, promote education around composting and minimizing food waste, and reduce rates of waste bin contamination around campus.
“Everyone on our campus – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – is participating in this competition, whether they know it or not,” said Tacy Lambiase, Sustainability Manager for the Office of Sustainability. “Every time that you correctly use our recycling and compost bins or choose to use a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one, you are helping to reduce the amount of waste that our campus sends to landfill.”
AU is competing in two competition categories. Through the Diversion category, AU will track and report data on recyclables, trash, and organics on a weekly basis. The goal of this category is to divert waste from the landfill through reduction and recycling strategies. The Food Organics category requires participating schools to track and report on all campus food waste and how food waste is recovered and managed through initiatives like AU’s composting program.
Each week of the competition will have a general theme featuring related events and social media promotions.
- Feb. 6 – 13
- Know What To Throw
- Feb. 14 – 20
- Food Waste & Compost
- Feb. 21 – 27
- Take Action on Plastic Pollution
- Feb. 27 – Mar. 5
- Use Your Reusables
- Mar. 13 – 19
- Creative Reuse & Upcycling
- Mar. 20 – 26
- extile Waste
Visit AU’s Campus Race to Zero Waste website for more information on the events and promotions for each week’s theme, weekly waste data, and resources.
Winners will be announced on April 28.