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Projects Updates for Zero Waste Gameday Challenge Spring 2014

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  1. Zero Waste Event at State Farm Center

    “Zero Waste” is a common term that refers to the desired outcome rather than any expectation. The goal of the Zero Waste Event at State Farm Center as stated to the SSC was to change to the habits of fans, starting with a single basketball game as part of the national Recyclemania competition. The desired outcome is for the State Farm Center to move from a single bin system to dual bin system. The new system will be accompanied with new signage for clarification.

  2. Results are In!

    I just want to let you know that the RecycleMania Game Day results have been released.  Here is the overview:

    • Over 100 volunteers participated.
    • As far as the RecycleMania Results go:
      • Diversion Rate was 31.5% ranking 19th overall.
      • Per Capita Recycling was .041 pounds per person ranking 24th overall.
      • Waste Generation was .13 pounds person ranking 6th overall.
    • Weights were:
      • 1180 pounds of landfill
      • 542 pound of recycling

    For all the details go to:

    Thanks so much for your help and willingness to collaborate on this. 



  3. Game Day Results

    On February 26, 2014 over 100 volunteers collaborated in a competition at a U of I basketball game to divert as much waste as possible from landfill.  Isolated waste bins were changed into recycling stations with new signs for landfill and recycling.   Fans were educated by volunteers about which bin to use.   After the game, participants collected and recycled as much as possible.  Landfilled and recycled materials were weighed and recorded to indicate a diversion rate of 31.5%.

  4. Game Day Event

    Wednesday night marked the first ever involvement with RecycleMania on this campus, and our Illini basketball team were not the only winners that evening.  The event at the Illini-Nebraska basketball game was successful for all involved.  Over 100 student volunteers partnered with various campus organizations and departments to raise awareness about reducing our environmental impact, and to help divert recyclable materials from landfills. Our first attempt, encouraged by the competitive atmosphere of the game, enabled us to divert 31.5% of the waste from landfills. 

    By weighing all of the event’s trash and recycling, a baseline data point was established and areas for improvement were identified.  While Illinois' ranking in the national RecycleMania competition won't be known until after March 30, the impact made on the community left many participants feeling like they made a difference and that our Basketball team were not the only winners that evening. 

    If you have any questions contact Bart Bartels at

  5. Inside Illinois brief

    Zero waste

    Recyclemania kicks off Feb. 26

    A friendly recycling competition will take place during the Illinois-Nebraska basketball game Feb. 26 at State Farm Center. Fans can compete against other schools around the country by recycling with the goal of a “zero waste basketball game.”

    During the game, the university will compete in Recyclemania, a friendly competition and assessment tool used to promote waste reduction activities in college communities. Recycling and landfill materials from the game will be weighed to calculate the event’s diversion rate; the more waste diverted from landfill, the better. The weights will then be entered into Recyclemania’s national database for future benchmarking and comparison. 

    The university’s entrance into this national competition is a collaborative effort among the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics; Facilities and Services; State Farm Center; the Student Sustainability Committee; and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.  Volunteers from Students for Environmental Concerns and Teryl Brewster’s psychology class of “Social Justice Educators” will help direct the efforts at recycling locations during the event. 

    Winning schools receive national recognition and an award made out of recyclable materials. Goals of the event include motivating the campus community to minimize waste and increase recycling efforts.

    For more information and updates on the event, see or email Bart Bartels at

    --The above was quoted from Inside Illinois, Brief Notes.

  6. Zero Waste Basketball Game!

    DIA, SSC, iSEE, F&S, and SECS are collaborating to facilitate the University's first Recyclemania event.  On February 26th in the State Farm Center, as the Illini battle the Nebraska Cornhuskers, waste conscious volunteers will be competing against other institutions to recycle as much as possible.  After the game all landfill material and recycled material will be weighed to calculate a diversion rate.  The results will be posted on the Recyclemania website.  If you would like to volunteer for this event please email Bart Bartels at