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- August 31 - October 4, 2020
St. Joe, Regina East and Regina West will compete to have the highest total diversion rate during the Tip the Scale Competition. The winning building has the honor of holding the student travelling sustainability trophy until the next competition, and will enjoy a pizza party. RA's across campus are also competing to have the best Zero Waste program and the winner get a Rocketbook Notebook.

Recent Competitions:

RecycleMania- February 2 - March 28, 2020
We ranked 12th in the nation in the Diversion category of the waste competition called RecycleMania. We finished 1st in the nation in the smaller campus division of the zero waste category. This was Aquinas’ 12th year competing. For more information on RecycleMania, visit their website.

Race to Zero Waste- February 3- March 1, 2020
The Race to Zero Waste 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 the Art and Music Center and Knape Hall!

Faculty/Staff Category:

  • Art and Music Center- 4 points
  • Albertus Hall- 3 points
  • Browne Center- 3 points
  • Hruby Hall- 2 points
  • Flannery Hall- 2 points
  • Jarecki/Lacks/Library- 2 points
  • Holmdene- 2 points
  • Sturrus/Alksnis- 2 points     
  • Academic Building- 1 point

Student Category:

  • Knape Hall- 3 points
  • Woodcock Hall- 3 points
  • Hruby Hall- 2 points
  • St. Catherine of Siena (Apartment C)- 1 point
  • Dominican Hall- 0 points
  • St. Joe's Hall- 0 points

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.

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