From Jan. 29-March 25, the University will participate in the Campus Race to Zero Waste, a national competition of colleges and universities from across the United States and Canada. The competition’s goal is simple: increase campus recycling and composting and decrease waste while raising awareness, with just a little bit of competition and bragging rights at stake between campuses!
Each week, the University will report its amount of recycling, trash and compost. Campuses will be ranked based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and which schools generate the least trash and recycling.
In total, last year’s participants helped divert nearly 28 million pounds of waste from the landfill/waste-to-energy facility. Syracuse University partners with Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) and Syracuse Haulers to collect, weigh, report and dispose of all waste. In 2022, Syracuse came in 16th out of 103 in the Food Organics category and 37th in the Diversion category.
Participation helps the University earn credit for campus engagement in the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) report. STARS is a reporting system to help universities and colleges measure their sustainability performance. Syracuse currently holds a STARS silver rating with strides being made to reach gold or platinum level in the coming years.
The winners of the competition will be announced April 28. Winning schools will receive an award made from recyclable material and win the right to host that category’s special traveling trophy for the coming year.
During the eight-week period, look for digital signs across campus explaining how to dispose of waste, recycling and food scraps properly.
Head to sustainability.syracuse.edu and click Recycling and Waste Reduction under the Sustainability on Campus section for more information on what’s considered recyclable, compostable or trash.
Follow @SustainableSU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more and keep up with the competition. Links can be found on the sustainability website.
The National Wildlife Federation manages the Campus Race to Zero Waste program. To learn more, visit campusracetozerowaste.org.