ZerOH Waste Excellence

Ohio State is outpacing the Big Ten in one category of the Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) competition.

In the Per Capita category, Ohio State finished first in the Big Ten Conference with 15.9 pounds per capita. Per capita is calculated by the amount of waste diverted from landfill per person. 

In the Big Ten, Ohio State ranked 4th in the Diversion category. Diversion means the total percentage of waste generated that is kept out of landfills, which includes recycling and composting. 

“I am proud of the Buckeyes’ achievements during this year’s Race to Zero Waste competition,” said Molly Kathleen, zero waste coordinator. “Our goal is to keep the campus community’s enthusiasm alive long after the competition has ended so we can continue to make progress toward Ohio State’s goal to be a zero waste campus by 2025.”

Campus Race to Zero Waste is a competition and benchmarking tool that promotes waste reduction activities and highlights best practice case studies from campuses across the United States and Canada. It features programs and strategies in waste minimization, food waste reduction, and education and awareness. 

According to the program’s website, 2.9 million students and staff were reached from more than 200 colleges and universities. Approximately 230 million plastic containers were kept out of landfills. Campuses prevented the release of more than 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, and almost 26 million pounds of waste was donated, recycled and composted.