Go green for Emory's annual recycling competition

Emory Report | Oct. 31, 2019

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Simple steps to recycle more items on campus can lead to significant impact. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to step up their efforts in November during the annual recycling competition.

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Everyday choices by students, faculty and staff are key to reaching Emory’s goal of diverting 95 percent of waste from landfills by 2025. The impact of those individual efforts is highlighted each year with the November Recycling Competition, which kicks off Friday. 

The competition, held by Emory Recycles and the Office of Sustainability, encourages faculty, staff and students to be intentional about recycling. Residence halls, classroom buildings and offices compete to see which buildings on campus can divert the most waste from landfills into recycling.

Most major buildings on campus serve as recycling sites. Click here to see the list of locations.

Each year’s competition gets tougher as the Emory community gets better at watching what we throw away.

Last year, 6,699 tons of waste were generated at Emory and 4,669 tons were successfully diverted from landfills. During last November’s competition alone, 486 tons were diverted from landfills.

These are huge amounts, but there is still more work to be done — and the competition prize and title are up for grabs.

Few and Evans Residence Hall won the November 2018 competition, collectively diverting nearly 14,500 pounds of waste from landfills. The residents voted to purchase pizza box recycling bins with their $3,000 prize. The bins are now in Few and Evans, which helps alleviate the issue of filling up the standard residence hall recycling bins with large pizza boxes.

As Emory steps into this year’s competition, remember there is more to waste reduction than just recycling, and going green matters beyond November. Reducing consumption of single-use plastics, composting food waste and even using fewer paper towels in the bathroom can combine for a huge environmental impact.

To read more about the policies and programs that help reduce waste at Emory, visit the Emory Sustainability Initiatives website.