University Community

OHIO moves forward in Campus Race to Zero Waste challenge

The OHIO Men’s Basketball game on Feb. 21 served as the GameDay Challenge as a part of OHIO Campus Recycling’s Campus Race to Zero Waste initiative. As the eight-week effort continues, and there are many events coming up to engage students and community members. 

During the basketball game, members of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, the Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors, Campus Recycling, and community members tabled and helped Bobcat fans place their trash in the correct bin. After the game, all waste was sorted and the stands were litter picked.

Two OHIO students are shown at the GameDay Challenge
Photo by Dylan Benedict

During the game, 204 pounds of waste were generated and 56 percent of it was recovered. Of the recovered waste, 80 percent was recycled and 20 percent was composted. Campus Recycling partnered with Athens-Hocking Recycling Center (AHRC) and the compost that was collected from the game was shredded at their facility. This partnership allows for a greater number of products to be composted because of AHRC’s shredder. Ellie Shanklin, a staff member at Campus Recycling, shared that “It was really exciting to see compost bins at the game to allow more waste to be recovered”. 

Having Ambassadors as “bin goalies” allows them to educate the public on what can be composted, recycled, and what must be thrown away. Lillian Keener, a freshman Ambassador, said that “This was my first event as a Climate and Sustainability Ambassador, and I felt that I made a difference. It was great to have a role in educating the public on how to properly dispose of their waste.” 

OHIO students involved in the GameDay Challenge pose for a photo
Photo by Dylan Benedict

Sorting through all of the trash ensures that everything is in the correct bin. It also gives Campus Recycling an idea of what products go into the landfill and could be switched to recyclable or compostable items in the future to increase the percentage of recovered waste.

Other events that have occurred and are coming up during the rest of the Campus Race to Zero Waste challenge include:

  • Sustainability themed trivia night at The Union on Feb. 28
  • Rufus Recycling Day Women’s Basketball Game on March 1
  • Upcycled trash display to educate others how to be “rooted in recycling” outside the top of Baker March 6-8
  • Plastic display at Howard Park March 22-24 to show how much plastic Ohio University uses in four weeks
March 9, 2023
Kate Harmon