Let’s Talk Trash: A Slam Dunk for Zero Waste!

March 3, 2015

On Sunday, March 1st, not only did the California Golden Bears Men’s Basketball team challenge Oregon State on the court, winning 73 to 56, but also tried defending their title in the national Recyclemania Game Day Challenge and the new Pac-12 “Road to Zero Waste” competition! UC Berkeley has won in the waste diversion category for the past two years in a row!

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 innovation. This competition measures more than just hard data, but also campus engagement on zero waste practices. 

Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, Student and Waste Audit under The Green Initiative Fund, 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 on Spieker plaza to engage fans in joining the campus zero waste initiative. 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 the SPROUTS team and Campus Recycling and Refuse Services. Students spent Monday weighing and recording the numbers for the final tally. Results from Recyclemania will be released mid-April. The Pac-12 Competition results will be release in mid-May!

For more information, please visit recycle.berkeley.edu or facebook.com/calzerowaste. Please direct any inquiries to Pallavi Sherikar at psherikar@berkeley.edu