March 14, 2016

On Sunday, February 28th, not only did the California Golden Bears Men’s Basketball team finish a perfect at-home season, but Cal was also defending their titles in the national Recyclemania Game Day Challenge and the Pac-12 “Road to Zero Waste” competition. UC Berkeley won in the waste diversion category for the past three years in a row in the Recyclemania Game Day Basketball Competition and also won the first inaugural Pac12 Road to Zero Waste Competition last year.

The Recyclemania challenge is an annual competition based on the waste minimization efforts for one basketball home game during the season. Winners are determined by waste diversion percentages. The new Pac-12 “Road to Zero Waste” competition scores campuses on their partnership participation, fan engagement, diversion rate, and creative innovations. This competition measures more than just hard data, but also campus engagement on zero waste practices. 

Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, Cal Athletics, Cal Dining, Cal IMG, and StopWaste rallied together full force to try to win these competitions.

Elementary and middle school students along with Cal student volunteers helped educate fans at the game by monitoring waste stations. Tables were set up inside Haas Pavilion to engage fans and educate them on how to help UC Berkeley reach zero waste by 2020. The first time-out in the first half featured a video promoting the waste minimization efforts on campus, reinforced by a waste sorting game during the second half.  

This effort was spearheaded by Campus Recycling and Refuse Services. Students spent the following week auditing, weighing, and recording the numbers for the final tally. Results from both competitions will be released in April. Go Bears and Zero Waste by 2020!