Campus Race to Zero Waste Begins on January 29!

Campus Race to Zero Waste logo

From January 29 to March 25, 2023, Emerson will be participating in the Campus Race to Zero Waste (CRZW), an eight-week waste-reduction competition between colleges and universities in the US and Canada. Formerly known as RecycleMania, the competition features several categories and Emerson is participating in the waste diversion competition. 

Our goal is to divert as much of our waste from the trash stream as possible. Currently, we recycle and compost about 20 percent of our waste. Our goal for the competition is to hit a 30 percent diversion rate. Each week, we will submit our weights of trash, recycling, and compost to the CRZW team. We will then receive a scorecard on a weekly basis showing where we stand among our peers. You’ll be able to view the updated scorecard on the Sustainable Emerson blog and on Instagram and Facebook

What can you do to contribute to this College-wide effort? 

  • Do your part individually! Pause before throwing something in the trash. Take a moment to clean and dry food containers to avoid contaminating the recycling. Take advantage of the RecycleSmart Recyclopedia tool if you have questions about what you can recycle. 
  • Make sure your office has the right bins and signs readily available. As a general rule, recycling bins should always be collocated with trash bins to ensure that both options are always available. If you are missing signs or bins, please contact
  • Talk with the person in your office who purchases office and kitchen supplies to make sure any disposable items you purchase are recyclable. Better yet, encourage your office to stick with reusable items like mugs and dishware. 

To get the entire campus community excited about and involved in this effort, Campus Services is holding several events and mini-competitions throughout the next two months. Several are open to staff: 

  • Sign the recycling and compost pledge! Each week, a signatory will be randomly selected to win a prize!
  • From February 13 to 17, offices will face off in a recycling competition. Sign up your office here to participate. The office with the highest recycling rate and the office with the lowest trash per person will each win pizza parties. 
  • We will also be hosting a waste-themed film screening, taking a field trip to Waste Management’s recycling facility in Billerica, and more! Stay tuned for more information. 

Visit the CRZW page on the Sustainable Emerson blog to stay up to date throughout the competition. 

Jen Lamy (Sustainability)