Reflecting on Zero Waste Week 2018

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

During the week of October 15-19, the University of Waterloo celebrated Zero Waste Week, with support from the Sustainability Office and Plant Operations to bring challenges and activities to employees and students across campus. 

Zero Waste Challenge

Andrea Bale's mason jar 2 weeks into the zero waste challengeNearly 200 students and 350 employees registered for the Zero Waste Challenge, which encouraged participants to collect all the waste they generated on campus in a mason jar for one week. Of the more than 400 participants that shared their progress, almost 95% successfully contained their waste in the jar, and 66% of respondents filled their jar up half-full or less!

More than 20 Green Offices participated in the Zero Waste Challenge, competing for the title of Zero Waste Week Warriors 2018. Congratulations to the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo & Safety Office, the Dean of Environment, and the Dean of Engineering & Human Resources for taking first place in the small, medium, and large office categories!


Sustainability Office and Region of Waterloo Waste Management team at DP for the sorting challengeThe Sustainability Office and student volunteers brought a waste sorting challenge to 5 locations across campus. Participants were challenged to sort ~20 common items in 30 seconds into Garbage, Organics, Containers, Paper and Bags, or Other recycling. More than 160 people took the challenge and learned something new along the way!

The Region of Waterloo Waste Management team also attended the Sort-A-Thon and provided free resources and green bin materials to help people sort properly at home!

Waste Reduction Quiz

More than 180 people completed the Waste Reduction quiz, which tested knowledge on proper waste sorting on- and off-campus. Out of 20 questions, participants were ranked as Recycling Rookies (0-5), Recycling Recruits (6-10), Garbage Guru (11-15), and Waste Warrior (16-20). Nearly two-thirds of participants ranked as Garbage Gurus, while 20% of participants achieved Waste Warrior status! Overall, the average score was 70%. 

Waste Mountain

Waste Mountain outside DC after Day 4Waste Mountain by DC served as a powerful visual for the waste produced in one building for one week on campus. 

Thank you to all of those that participant in Zero Waste Week 2018 and made these events such a success!