2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste Caste Study Competition Winners Revealed

RESTON, Va. – The 2021 winners for the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Race to Zero Waste case study competition have been announced in four categories including waste minimization, food waste reduction, education and awareness and summary of waste minimization efforts over one year or more. 

Formerly RecycleMania, Campus Race to Zero Waste is a college and university waste reduction competition to promote waste minimization, especially plastics reduction, and recycling activities on college campuses and in their nearby communities. Judging is based on criteria including creativity, replicability and measurable impact. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 200 colleges and universities competed in the 2021 case study competition resulting in 230 million plastic containers kept out of landfills and 25.8 million pounds of waste donated, recycled or composted.

The 2021 winning case studies and their respective categories are: 

  • Lehigh University, Pennsylvania: Waste Minimization
  • Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana: Food Waste Reduction 
  • Dallas College, Texas: Education and Awareness
  • Towson University, Maryland: Education and Awareness Honorable Mention
  • Kent State University, Ohio: Summary of Waste Minimization over one year or more 

“We couldn’t be more impressed with the creativity and initiative the students, faculty and staff have shown during this year’s Campus Race to Zero Waste competition,” said Tara Pike-Nordstrom, vice president of Campus Race to Zero Waste and sustainability coordinator for the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges and opportunities to reimagine online education techniques, awareness campaigns and set the stage for waste minimization and sustainability this fall.”

“Congratulations not only to the winners, but to every participant who is striving to make our world a better, more sustainable place. By reducing their waste, these campuses have decreased the amount of trash entering landfills and waterways and helped mitigate the negative impacts on wildlife, ecosystems and climate change as a whole,” said Kristy Jones, senior manager of higher education programs at the National Wildlife Federation. “We couldn’t do this alone and it’s because of programs like Campus Race to Zero Waste that we’re able to engage and educate thousands of people to carry on this effort and inspire others.”

More than 1,100 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada have participated in the Campus Race to Zero Waste program, diverting close to 1,090 million pounds of waste through waste minimization efforts, donation, reuse, composting and recycling. Participating campuses have also prevented the release of nearly 1.65 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, comparable to removing more than 340,000 gas engine passenger vehicles from the road for one year. 

You can find more information on the winning and submitted case studies here


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