UofL finishes strong in the Campus Race to Zero Waste & Emily Coleman wins Ecolympics 2021

Campus Race to Zero Waste logoThe Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly known as RecycleMania), is a friendly annual competition among North American universities. During this 8 week period from January 31 - March 27, 2021, UofL competed to reduce waste, increase recycling & composting, and raise conservation awareness across all three campuses! As part of Ecolympics 2021, all students, faculty and staff were urged to:

  • REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE! Help the Cards to victory by avoiding disposables (bring your own mug, bottle, plate, etc.) and fully utilizing UofL’s amazingly easy, single-stream recycling system that lets you recycle everything in the same bin, everywhere on campus: all types of plastic, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass! Details on what you can recycle at UofL here.
  • Participant Badge - 2021 Campus Race To Zero WasteCOMPOST! We will be collecting food wastes for composting from The Ville Grill, SAC Marketplace, and other campus dining locations and adding those numbers to UofL's organics recycling totals! You can also compost your food scraps and soiled paper products in the compost bins at the Garden Commons (SW corner of Strickler Hall) and the Urban & Public Affairs Horticulture Zone. Please no animal/dairy products, but otherwise, if it came from a plant, we want to compost it: fruit & vegetable wastes/peels/rinds/seeds, bread, pasta, rice, tea bags, coffee grounds/filters, and all kinds of soiled paper products (tissues, towels, napkins, plates, cups, etc.).

Campus Race to Zero Waste 2021 Results

  • In the Diversion category, UofL was not quite able to match our 2020 performance, but we held our own! Out of 209 schools, UofL finished #1 in the ACC, #2 in the state, and #21 in the nation, with an overall Recycling Rate of 45.614% during the 8-week competition from January 31st to March 27th, 2021. Congrats to our Louisville neighbors, JCTC, who defeated us with their impressive recycling prowess, finishing 5th in the nation with a recycling rate of 65.918%! Full Results here.
  • Ecolympics LogoIn the Per Capita Classic, having recycled 4.990 lbs/person, UofL finished in 2nd place in Kentucky and improved our national ranking to 73rd.
  • In 2021, after rolling out a new customer-facing composting collection in UofL Dining, UofL continued to improve our dominance in composting, finishing 1st in Kentucky and 15th in the country in the Food Organics category, with 70.00 points.
  • In the all-important Waste Minimization category, UofL seriously upped our game from 2020, finishing 2nd in the state, with total waste production down to just 18.32 lbs/person over 8 weeks.
  • Ecolympics 2021 Grand Prize Folding BikeCongratulations to all of our eight weekly Ecolympics 2021 winners who took an incredible variety of creative green actions throughout the Campus Race to Zero Waste: Leah Hazelwood, Anam Ahmed, Emily Nunez, Rebecca Eaton, Megan Cooper, Stacy Henley, Mimi Conti, and Megan E. Miller. Each one received a unique sustainability-themed prize pack! Our Grand Prize winner was Envirome Institute administrative assistant, Emily Coleman, who inspired all of us by sharing over 200 sustainable actions throughout the competition! She pedaled home on her prize: a slick, Cardinal-colored Dahon folding bicycle! All winners received an experiential prize on Earth Day 2021 - an insider's sustainability tour of UofL's LEED Gold Student Rec Center, including a climb up to the roof to check out the solar water heating system!Ecolympics 2021 Week 4 Winner - Rebecca Eaton