2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste

Formerly known as Recyclemania, the revamped 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste is indicative of the growing movement to prioritize all forms of waste reduction from composting to recycling and up-cycling.

This year, CMU has joined the race as we discover new and innovative ways to educate and involve the campus community, even from our homes. We are excited to bring this competition to you and answer your questions as we progress towards a more sustainable university and world.

This year, CMU is participating in the following three categories:

  1. Waste Reduction: In the waste reduction category, CMU is compared to similar sized schools nationally to measure our ability to divert waste. This year, we are collecting university-wide data for mixed paper and cardboard, mixed bottles and cans, compost, and trash.
  2. Game Day Challenge: In the Game Day Challenge, CMU is engaging the community and measuring waste from a university home basketball game. There will be student volunteers tabling, and helping to sort out waste at the proper disposal sites.
  3. Case Study: For the case study, we are holding a friendly competition between the north, east, south, and west residential communities. The four residential communities will be ranked based on the average weight recycled per person, and the winning community receives a trophy made of recycled contents!

When we discuss waste reduction, we often get lost in the details in the what and how, but it’s imperative to understand our “why” – why should we divert our waste, and can one person really make a difference?

Although it seems insignificant to put a piece of paper in the recycling bin, the combined efforts of thousands of individuals, on campus alone, can significantly alleviate the burden on our strained landfills and our clouded air.  If we all work together to utilize the recycling, composting, and waste reduction systems already in place, then we have the ability to reduce the impacts of climate change as a community.

For this reason, we encourage everyone, no matter where you are, to join us in the 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste.

-Eric and Teresa

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