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 /Upcoming Competitions:

Tip the Scale: A Waste Diversion Competition
Dates: August 26 to September 29, 2019
St. Joe and Regina compete to have the highest total diversion rate at the end of the competition, and the competition is cumulative.  Resident Assistants are also competing in the Eduction Challenge. The RA with the best program to engage their residents wins a Rocketbook Notebook and solar charger.

Race to Zero Waste
Dates: February 3- March 1, 2020
The Race to Zero Waste (formerly known as the Great Guru Garbage Games) is a friendly competition of zero waste advocates 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.

Recent Competitions:

Tip the Scale: A Waste Diversion Competition- August 26 – September 29, 2019
St. Joe, Regina East and Regina West competed to have the highest total diversion rate during the Tip the Scale Competition.Congratulations to St. Joe's on winning the competition this year. This is the first time St. Joe's took the title since the competition began in 2015. St. Joe won with a 49.42% diversion rate, while Regina East finished at 36.72% and Regina West at 23.52%. St. Joe will hold the student travelling sustainability trophy until the next competition, and enjoy a pizza party. The winner of this fall's RA Education Competition (and a RocketBook Notebook and solar charger) is Megan Bopra! She set up a special collection waste area in her house and organized a "weekly recyclers" network among her residents. Thanks to all who participated.

RecycleMania- February 3 - March 30, 2019
We ranked 8th in the nation in the waste diversion competition called RecycleMania. This was Aquinas’ 11th year competing. For more information on RecycleMania, visit their website.

Race to Zero Waste- February 4, 2019 - March 3, 2019
The Race to Zero Waste (formerly known as the Great Guru Garbage Games) is a friendly competition of zero waste advocates 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 participating building is working 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 receives preference. Here are the final rankings. Congratulations to Flannery Hall and Meijer Hall!

Faculty/Staff Category:

  1. Flannery Hall- 4 points (85.95% diversion rate; 22.48% change)
  2. AMC- 4 points (48.54% diversion rate; 20.10% change)
  3. Holmdene- 3 points (76.80% diversion rate; -0.47% change)
  4. Albertus- 3 points (61.94% diversion rate; -4.72% change)
  5. AB- 2 points (71.81% diversion rate; 0.04% change)
  6. Browne- 2 points (96.61% diversion rate; -1.90% change)
  7. Wege- 1 point (79.25% diversion rate; -1.85% change)
  8. JLH- 0 points (65.44% diversion rate; -5.31% change)

Student Category:          

  1. Meijer- 1 point (78.51% diversion rate; -5.62% change)
  2. Fr. Bartolome de las Casas- 0 points (37.38% diversion rate; -30.90% change)
  3. Willowbrook- 0 points (16.30% diversion rate; -68.11% change)

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 Advocate 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