NWTC is participating in the 2022 Campus Race to Zero Waste

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2022 Campus Race to Zero Waste logo.
2022 Campus Race to Zero Waste logo.

Over the next two months, students and staff at NWTC can help the College reduce waste and increase recycling through the Campus Race to Zero Waste program. This national collegiate competition encourages colleges and universities to reduce waste as they work towards higher standards in recycling and diversion. NWTC will be competing in two categories – waste diversion and per capita recycling – and we need your help to win!  

What is Campus Race to Zero Waste?   

The Campus Race to Zero Waste is a national collegiate competition sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, which aims to help colleges and universities find pathways toward zero-waste (90+% diverted from trash) on their campuses. This competition was started in 2001 when recycling coordinators at Ohio University and Miami University used their existing sports rivalry to create buzz around recycling. First called RecycleMania, this competition snowballed into a national challenge over the past two decades, with over 1,000 colleges and universities competing to reduce their waste and minimize their impact on the environment. 

Why participate?  

Over a year ago, NWTC charted a team – the Environmental Climate Stewardship Team (ECS) – to guide the College’s efforts in benchmarking and reducing its carbon footprint. The committee's goal is to reduce the College’s carbon footprint by 60% of 2005 levels by 2030 while embarking on a plan to attain carbon neutrality by 2050.   

There are many components to this effort, including the implementation of energy-saving technologies and solar generation, increasing the amount of sustainable food served on campuses, and creating a more sustainable culture among students and staff. Another important component is reducing the waste of consumables and increasing the reuse of waste through various methods (e.g., recycling, composting, etc.). The College’s immediate goal is to achieve 70% waste reduction and diversion by Fiscal Year 25. NWTC is excited to participate in the 2022 Campus Race to Zero Waste to build excitement and get more people involved in this work. 

How can I help?  

We cannot do this alone! To help NWTC be competitive in this year’s competition it will take all of us. The College needs everyone to pitch in over the next two months to reduce the amount of waste on our Green Bay campus. There are a few basic things you can do:   

  • Use refillable water bottles and campus filling stations to reduce bottle waste.
  • Double-check your bins! Make sure to correctly dispose of waste and sort recycling.   
  • Rinse containers and recycle all CLEAN plastic, glass, and cardboard.   
  • Stop by Student Involvement to purchase an Ozzi token to utilize clean, reusable containers in the cafeteria.   

To learn more about what materials you can recycle, check out this guidance from Brown County Resource Recovery. 

NWTC is excited to participate in the 2022 Campus Race to Zero Waste! This program has had decades of success in raising awareness of recycling and diversion programs in higher education. Check out the stats below from the 2021 competition.   

The bad news. Globally, only 9% of recyclable plastic is actually recycled. Source: National Geographic. Trash kills wildlife. It's estimated that ingestion of plastic kills 1 million marine birds and 100,000 marine animals each year. Source: One Green Planet. Trash harms habitat. 5.25 trillion plastic particles in the ocean from food and beverage containers, microbeads from personal care items, etc. Source: One Green Planet. The good news. In 2021, CR2ZW campuses: Cut out 230 million single use plastic containers. Donated, recycled and composted 25.8 million pounds of waste. Prevented the release of 30,669 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCo0E) into the atmosphere, equivalent to preventing annual emissions from 6,463 cars. The 2021 competition was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Also, do not forget to tag us in pictures on social media when you are cleaning up the campus or recycling. When you share pictures getting caught “green-handed” around campus, you will be entered into drawings to win an NWTC Environmental Climate Stewardship t-shirt. 

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