Campus Race to Zero Waste 2021

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2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste Results

Seattle University joined more than 200 campuses across the U.S. to participate in the 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste competition, where they helped to reduce their waste footprint through waste minimization efforts, and donating composting, and recycling more than 25.8 million pounds of waste.

  • SU ranked 1st for the medium Carnegie Class in the Diversion category and 9th nationally
  • SU diverted more than 76,000lbs of waste from the landfill through recycling and composting
  • SU’s cumulative greenhouse gas emission reductions were equivalent to 90 Metric Tons of CO2—which is equal to the energy consumption of 8 households or taking 18 cars off the road

See SU's press release here and the National Wildlife Federation's press release here

What is Campus Race to Zero Waste?

Formerly known as Recyclemania, "CAMPUS RACE TO ZERO WASTE" (January 31-March 27, 2021), organized by the National Wildlife Federation, is an 8-week long competition between colleges across the U.S. and Canada to reduce waste and engage campus communities in waste minimization efforts. Each week colleges will track the amount of their institutions’ recycling, composting, and trash,and then be ranked in different categories based on how well and how much they minimize waste and divert from the landfill! SU is benchmarking itself against Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford University, Edmonds College, University of South Dakota, University of Montana, and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Last year, SU took sixth place out of 145 schools across North America in the waste diversion category. We will post our weekly ranking on this page, so STAY TUNED for competition updates!

2021 Competition Details: GET INVOLVED and BE THE CHANGE!

Small lifestyle changes not only reduce the waste you produce, but also encourage others to do the same! Here are some tangible ways to make a difference:

  • Check out these excellent tips on how to go zero waste during the COVID pandemic.
  • Find out "What Goes Where" and choose the right bin next time you need to throw stuff away.
  • Have any difficult-to-recycle items in your office (cell phones, toner cartridges, styrene foam,...): see here what to do with those.
  • Not sure what to do with batteries? Put them in an envelope labeled ‘SU Recycling’ and slip them into any on-campus mailbox. They will be properly taken care of!
  • Donate rather than throw away: Have any electronics, furniture, or other items in your office or dorms you want to get rid off? Consider donating to local non-profits.
  • Repair rather than replace: Instead of throwing out items after they break, have them repaired. Check out DIY tutorials on youtube or get them professionally repaired.
  • How much plastic do you consume? Take this quiz to find out what your plastic footprint is! Here are 11 easy ways to reduce your plastic waste. Or use this tool by the Earth Day Network to calculate your personal plastic consumption, create your personal plastic plan, and track your progress.  

Thank you for your support in making our campus SUstainable!

Visit the Official Campus Race to Zero Waste website at




winner badge with an icon of a bottlecap, box, and apple core

Did you know? 

  • That SU has set a goal to divert 90% of waste from the landfill by 2025?
  • That 50% of our trash is actually compostable?
  • That all of SU's pre-consumers food waste is composted on campus and reused on our grounds?

SeattleU's Waste Signage

Spread the word: use the following media kit materials and hang them around in your office, SU kitchen, dorms, bulletin boards... and send on to everyone you know:

screenshot of infographic with info about zero waste tips


Make sure all recyclables are clean before you put them in the bin, if you are unsure if it is recyclable or not, just throw it out!