|Submission Date||Oct. 14, 2015|
RecycleMania is a national competition among universities to promote waste reduction and recycling activities. From February through March, colleges in the competition report recycling and trash weights collected weekly, and are then ranked in standing based on various categories. The University of Washington competes annually in the following categories: Grand Champion, Per Capital Classic, Gorilla Price, and Food Service Organics Diversion.
This campaign raises awareness among students about our campus-wide recycling and composting initiatives by pitting the UW in competition against other rival Pac-12 universities. In 2013, UW ranked first in among Pac-12 schools in total recycling diverted. This year, we again ranked first in recycling and second in food waste diversion, falling to Stanford in the final weeks of the competition.
This year, a RecycleMania student planning committee was formed to promote RecycleMania and raise awareness about the competition. Two promotional activities the committee pursued include the “Get-Caught Green Handed” campaign where students would spontaneously reward people during lunch when they disposed of their leftovers correctly.
The student committee also coordinated this year’s Trash-In event. It was a smaller scale event but findings from their sort was consistent with previous Trash-In results showing that 81% of the material sorted should have been recycled or composted instead.
The Green Office Certification Program at the University of Washington encourages staff, faculty, and students to help make their office or workplace at UW sustainable. Any member from campus departments can participate in an informal audit process about their office practices. The short online survey allows the office to see what steps their office is are already taking to be green, and areas where their office can improve. Qualifying offices will be recognized at different levels of certification based on the criteria they meet.
The certification is based on work place practices that involve action areas, such as energy conservation, green meetings, paper conservation, publications and marketing communications, purchasing, increasing waste diversion, alternative transportation, and more.
The Green Laboratory Certification Program at the University of Washington encourages staff, faculty, and students to help make their Laboratory or workplace at UW sustainable. Any member from campus departments can participate in an informal audit process about their laboratory practices. The short online survey allows the laboratory to see what steps their laboratory is already taking to be green, and areas where their laboratory can improve. Qualifying laboratories will be recognized at different levels of certification based on the criteria they meet.
The certification is based on laboratory practices that involve action areas, such as Energy Usage, Communication, Waste, Chemical Usage, Water Usage, Work-related travel, and more.
Since the launch of the Green Certification Programs, practices have been evaluated in over 150 different offices and laboratories on campus, representing the workplaces of over 5,000 employees. This program changes behaviors to be more sustainable and is associated with reductions in energy and resource usages.
In 1970, UW students held the first “Trash-In” on campus to emphasize the waste associated with American life. They collected trash from around campus and separated it into categories, returning recyclable materials to the original producers for reprocessing. Today, UW Recycling hosts a bi-annual event called Trash-In which is a large scale waste audit in a highly visible area on campus. This event raises awareness about what is still going to the landfill that doesn't need to be. Every other year on Red Square, campus volunteers suit up and sort through one day’s worth of trash, collected from several UW buildings, in search of recyclable and compostable material. The party-like atmosphere includes popular music, sorting games and challenges.
The OneThing Challenge
The One Thing Challenge is an annual competition between residence hall students at the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU) to win the title of "Greenest Campus". The campus with the most participants is awarded the One Thing Cup (a trophy made of recycled material). The One Thing Challenge is a personal commitment to change one thing in your normal routine in order to be more environmentally friendly. By committing to One Thing, you're not radically changing your life. However, that One Thing can lead to other One Things, and you'll find that there are many things you can do to save energy, water and fuel to reduce your impact on the environment. http://www.hfs.washington.edu/onething/
UW Recycling’s annual Student Cleanup, Recycle and Moveout (SCRAM) event captures unwanted items from approximately 5,000 departing students who live in the residence halls. The goal of SCRAM is to divert reusable goods from the landfill and donate those items, such as food, books, clothing, household items, school supplies, and toiletries, to charitable organizations. At the end of the academic year, a donation station is set up at each residence hall to encourage donation and reuse. Each station includes instructional signs and collection containers to separate items. There is also space for donating large items like furniture and home theatre equipment. SCRAM tries to make moving out of the dorms a little easier. The program was featured on UWTV: http://uwtv.org/series/uw360/watch/74YMYrdAsgY/
UW Recycling Trash Talks
UW Recycling hosts regular Trash Talks that provide recycling and compost education directly to the campus community. Confused by what to do with that coffee cup? No location is too small or weird for to host one. Past Trash Talks have been held in the main corridor of the HUB (the student union building) right by a waste collection station or by the compactors at the new Mercer Apartment Complex. UW Recycling believes in engaging students at the source by using fun interactive games and prizes.
MEASURED POSITIVE IMPACTS
The event explores how much recyclable and compostable material is still being thrown away on campus, and the data collected helps drive UW Recycling programs. For the past four years, Trash-In data consistently shows that 22% of materials found in the landfill trash stream are recyclable, 53% are compostable and 25% are actual trash.
The OneThing Challenge
Students commit to doing actions that can save energy, water and fuel all while reducing their impact on the environment.
The program has been in place since 2004 and has helped keep over 125 tons of material out of the landfill towards donation and reuse instead.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE
staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.