Sustainability Initiative at Aquinas College

Zero Waste Events & Competitions

Students picking up things and sorting waste
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!
Two students standing by trash, recycle, and compost bins
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.

Current Competitions:

Great Guru Garbage Games- February 5th to March 4th, 2018
The Great Guru Garbage Games is a friendly competition of zero waste gurus fighting to prove that their building is THE zero waste champion to beat! There is both a student category and a faculty/staff category, with the champion in each category winning the traveling sustainability trophy. Each building worked to beat its average (cumulative) diversion rate to date, earning a point each week that the percentage is beat. The building with the highest number of points at the end of the competition wins!! In the event of a tie, the building with the highest percent change received preference. During G4, we also recognize the building with the highest total diversion rate.

The faculty/staff winner of the 2018 Great Guru Garbage Games is Browne Center!!! Congratulations to Mark Schmidbauer and all of the occupants of BC on this victory! Browne finished the competition with a 4 points out of a possible 4 points and will be the new holder of the Faculty/Staff Sustainability Trophy! The student winner is St. Rose of Lima, with 2 points out of a possible 4. Because Meijer Hall also had 2 points, the winner came down to the building with the highest percent change. Congratulations to Greta Baragar on this accomplishment, and you will be the new holder of the Student Sustainability Trophy. :) Browne Center also had the highest diversion rate during the competition. Here are the full results:

Faculty/Staff Category:
Building Name    Diversion to Beat     Diversion Rate    Total Points    Rank  
Browne Center 82.3% 92.0% 4 1
Campus Safety Office 89.2% 87.6% 3 2
Flannery Hall 87.5% 80.3% 3 3
Wege Student Center 85.6% 85.0% 2 4
Art and Music Center 41.8% 39.7% 2 5
Albertus Hall 67.3% 65.3% 1 6
Academic Building 78.0% 75.3% 1 7
Holmdene 76.2% 70.1% 0 8
Hruby Hall 50.5% 44.9% 0 9
Student Category:
St. Rose of Lima/ Apt. E- 45.7% 44.4 2 1
Meijer Hall 78.7% 74.3% 2 2












Recent Competitions:

Tip the Scale Waste Competition- September 2017
Regina and St. Joseph Halls have been competing since the first day of school to have the highest cumulative waste diversion rate for the month of September! Regina won this year with a monthly diversion rate of 53.54% and St. Joe's finished with a 44.9% diversion rate. We want to thank all those who helped make this competition possible, especially the residents of Regina and St. Joe's! A donut and coffee party was held on October 16th in the Regina Lobby from 7:30 am to 10:00 am to celebrate Regina's victory. Regina now holds the traveling sustainability trophy until the next competition in February.

AQ Unplugged: Energy Competition
We're excited to announce that Holmdene Manor won the AQ Unplugged: Energy Competition! They reduced their electricity consumption by 41% from their February baseline, the highest reduction among participating buildings!! Honorable mentions go to Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center and Hruby Hall for significant reductions in their electrical consumption. However, it's important to note that every building should be proud because all of you saw a decrease in energy use! As winners of the competition, Holmdene will hold the faculty/staff traveling sustainability trophy for the summer! To stay up to date on our latest campus energy consumption, check out our energy monitors. They can be found on our website in the left-hand menu or in the lobbies of many buildings around campus. Full results: Holmdene: 41.64% reduction; Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center- 26.56% reduction; Hruby Hall- 14.49% reduction; Performing Arts Center- 11.64% reduction; Art and Music Center-11.63% reduction; Regina Hall- 10.62% reduction; Academic Building 10.30% reduction; Jarecki/Lacks/Hauenstein- 8.11% reduction; St. Joseph Hall - 6.07% reduction; Albertus Hall- 3.94% reduction.

Tip the Scale Waste Competition: LLC Edition
Dates: Month of February 2017
The waste competition between LLCs is an opportunity for residents to think of new ways to improve their house’s waste diversion rate while enjoying some friendly competition. The houses are already some of the best residential areas when it comes to waste diversion on campus. We hope to improve even further on those diversion rates using competition. How cool would it be to say your LLC is zero-waste!? The house who diverts the largest percentage of their waste from the landfill wins. Interns from the Center for Sustainability will be available to meet with your house for a zero-waste training that should take no longer than a half hour. Final Results: M. Euphrasia Sullivan- Diverted Waste: 83.2%; Rank: 1- WINNER; Knape Hall- Diverted Waste: 68.6%; Rank: 2; Willowbrook- Diverted Waste: 64.3%; Rank: 3; Sr. Mildred Hawkins- Diverted Waste: 64.0%; Rank: 4; Woodcock Hall- Diverted Waste: 62.8%; Rank: 5; Meijer Hall- Diverted Waste: 54.2%; Rank: 6.

Great Guru Garbage Games 
Dates: Month of February 2017 
This friendly competition is an opportunity for Gurus to compete and prove that their building is the Zero Waste Champion to beat! Help support your Guru by sorting all your waste during the month of February. Guru(s) win based on percent change from their second highest building diversion in Fall 2016. A secondary winner will also be selected based on highest diversion rate. To sweeten the deal, the winning building will receive the traveling sustainability trophy! Student buildings will be competing separately from Admin buildings, as both the student and staff/faculty traveling sustainability trophies are up for grabs! Final results:

Faculty/Staff Category: Albertus Hall - Rob Peters -  (diversion to beat = 69.2%) 73.2% or 5.83% percent change. Rank= 1- WINNER; Holmdene - Tori Guerrini & Chad Gunnoe -  (diversion to beat = 81.2%) 84.9% or 4.58% percent change. Rank= 2; Campus Safety - Mark McCann & Kendall Clair-  (diversion to beat = 95.2%) 93.8% or -1.46% percent change. Rank= 3; Browne Center - Eric Bridge & Mark Schmidbauer -  (diversion to beat = 96.7%) 93.1% or -3.71% percent change. Rank= 4; Jarecki/Lack/Hauenstein - Christina Radisauskas -  (diversion to beat= 78.0%) 72.5% or -7.08% percent change. Rank= 5; Academic Building - Jessica Eimer Bowen -  (diversion to beat = 81.6%) 75.6% or -7.38% percent change. Rank= 6; Wege - June Stevenson -  (diversion to beat = 94.3%) 87.3% or -7.44% percent change. Rank= 7; Flannery Hall - Brigid Avery -  (diversion to beat = 97.4%) 89.3% or -8.36% percent change. Rank= 8; Hruby Hall - Angie Schlosser-Bacon, Damon Bouwkamp, & Jessica Vaglica -  (diversion to beat = 52.3%) 43.2% or -17.48% percent change. Rank= 9; Art & Music Center - Betsey Ingraham, Mary Hurd, & Nate Lareau -  (diversion to beat = 52.4%) 27.6% or -47.31% percent change. Rank= 10.

Student Category: Mother Euphrasia Sullivan Hall - Aimee Judd -  (diversion to beat = 67.4%) 83.2% or 23.41% percent change. Rank= 1- WINNER; Regina Hall - Rachel McCurdy -  (diversion to beat= 57.0%) 59.6 or 4.49% percent change. Rank= 2; St. Rose of Lima - Jennifer McCullen -  (diversion to beat = 68.0%) 40.5% or -40.38% percent change. Rank= 3.

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
  • Advertise "Zero Waste" and request volunteers
    >More Information (pdf)
    >Resources for Vendors (pdf)
  • Download our zero waste educational PowerPoint and play the file at your event. >Download