VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University recently achieved its goal of a 90 percent diversion rate for compost and recycling during the third annual Zero Waste Game. It is the first time that a Zero Waste event has achieved a diversion percentage above 80. The event was held on February 25, 2017 during the Villanova Men’s Basketball Game at the Pavilion.
Several dozen student, faculty and staff volunteers, in addition to the Villanova women’s softball team, helped divert attendees’ trash at each waste station to appropriate bins for recycling and compost during the game. Volunteers also sorted through two dozen bags of trash at the conclusion of the game to help achieve the 90 percent goal. Food vendors at the Pavilion lent a hand by distributing compostable replacements for traditional disposable food service, utensils, straws and sandwich wrappers.
“It took some tweaking to our original approach to get us to 90 percent waste diversion, it’s so exciting to see all the hard work pay off,” said Liesel Schwarz, Sustainability Manager. “We have been aiming for zero waste for three years. We hope to incorporate the lessons learned through these once-a-year events into the design of the new Pavilion. I am so thankful for our dedicated volunteers, some of whom have volunteered all three years, who help make this event such an annual success.”
The Zero Waste Game is part of the larger Recyclemania competition. Full results will be available later this spring.
In 2007, Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Further advancing the University’s pledge to sustainability, he established the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee on Villanova’s campus. This committee—comprised of faculty, staff, and students from across the University—is charged with taking action on all aspects of campus sustainability and in implementing the President’s Climate Commitment on behalf of the University. In October 2016, College of Engineering Dean Gary Gabriele signed The White House’s Educators Commitment on Resilient Design pledge to train and educate future leaders about the impacts and preparations needed to address extreme weather events and climate change. Villanova has expanded its sustainability efforts, including the launch of new master’s degree programs in Environmental Science and Sustainable Engineering—adding academic programs with an emphasis on the environment and sustainability.
In addition, the University has five LEED certified buildings on campus and has committed to LEED certification for all new construction and major renovation projects. In April 2014, Father Donohue signed the St. Francis Pledge, committing the University to “protect God's Creation and advocate on behalf of people in poverty who face the hardest impacts of global climate change.”
Villanova continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s greenest colleges, having received national recognition for its commitment to sustainability by a number of organizations including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Villanova recycles and composts up to 48% percent of its waste, sending all of its trash to Covanta, an energy-from-waste facility that burns the trash for electricity. The University has installed over 30 hydration stations on campus to make it more convenient to fill up reusable water bottles. The initiative has already saved the equivalent of more than a million water bottles. Villanova also incorporates its commitment to the environment into its community service initiatives. To learn more about Villanova’s commitment to environmental sustainability, click here.