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  Sustainability Initiative  




Zero-Waste Initiative: Zero Waste Events

Zero Waste Events Zero Waste Events
Students play a recycling relay game at Rock the Block, one of many Zero Waste Events. Each team had to correctly sort their bucket of waste into either recycling, composting,or trash. The winners were awarded candy! Zero Waste volunteers, Carly Dew and Ana Cujar, watch over the recycle, compost, and trash bins at Rock the Block. They helped event attendees properly dispose of their waste.
Hosting a Zero Waste Event

Are you hosting an event and would like to get involved in the zero waste initiative? Here are some action steps you can take to make your event a success!

  • Contact a Zero Waste Member for planning assistance
  • Request additional recycling and composting bins
  • Reduce paper use
  • Work with vendors to request use of compostable and recyclable products
  • Advertize "Zero Waste" and request volunteers

>More Information (pdf)

Event Data
Homecoming (September 2013):
The Zero Waste Initiative had a great impact for Homecoming 2013. Everyone, including students, staff, faculty, volunteers, and alumni were very on-board with the efforts. Homecoming featured all Michigan beer, a first for Aquinas. Re-usable cups were also for sale to encourage people to not waste as much. Bartenders helped to re-use cups and were encouraging people to do the same. There was also the use of mostly electronic information and communications this year, significantly decreasing the amount of paper needed.
The results for this year included: 9 bags of composting, 11 bags of recycling, and 1 bag of trash . This added up to a 95% diversion rate, making this year a great success.
There were 30.5 bags of waste total in 2012. This year the total waste was 21 bags.

Move-In (August 22, 2013):
The Zero Waste Team successfully worked to divert a large amount of waste at this event. With volunteers helping in St. Joseph and Regina Hall, we were able to collect 21 bags of styrofoam, 25 bags of recycling, 11 bags of composting, and 13 bags of thin film plastic. Only 3 bags of trash were generated! The recycling company, Padnos, is helping us sort through the thin film plastic we collected and they are giving us guidance on how we can start a thin film collection system in the near future.
Move-Out (May 2013):
A large amount of trash tends to be generated during move-out, so the Zero Waste Team was present in full force. In addition to the recycling and composting bins in place, Goodwill donation bins were added to all of the residence halls, apartments, and houses. Signs were hung on the trash room doors to remind students of these special collections, and encourage re-thinking of waste disposal habits.
Refresh Yourself (February 15, 2013):
The zero waste team was very successful at Refresh Yourself. Throughout the 6-hour event, 19 volunteers were able to help recycle 5 bags of waste and compost another 13 bags! Only 4 bags of trash were generated at this event. .
Fall Fest (October 31, 2012):
An estimated 70% of waste was diverted from this event. It is also worth noting that the majority of waste produced throughout the day was candy wrappers. Zero waste is more difficult to achieve when many of the products we enjoy are packaged unsustainably. This shows the importance of a community working together to reach our campus sustainability goals!
Homecoming (September 29, 2012):
The zero waste team was incredibly successful at Homecoming. Throughout the campus events taking place, 11 volunteers we were able to help recycle 16 bags of waste and compost another 12.5 bags. Even more impressive, we only generated 2 bags of garbage! With 1,500 people visiting the beer tent, this is a great accomplishment.
Rock the Block (September 8, 2012):
8 volunteers helped properly compost and recycle waste from this event. Thanks to their help, we were able to divert 4 bins of recycling and 3 bins of composting from the landfill. Two bags of trash were still filled during this event.
Saint’s Stock (September 5, 2012):
At this event, we were able to fill 1 recycling bin and 1 composting bin, but unfortunately, 1 trashcan was also filled up during the 2 hour time period.
Move-In (August 23, 2012):
A large amount of trash tends to be generated during move-in, so the Zero Waste Team was present in full force. Here are some highlights from the event: For every 1 trash can that was filled during the event, 2 recycling and 2 composting bins were filled; 30 cubic yards of cardboard was recycled; and 18 large bags of Styrofoam were recycled through Treehuggers. Overall, we believe we were able to capture an estimated 80% of recyclable and compostable items on move-in day.