Net zero waste goals met for Employee Appreciation Day

The UNMC Office of Sustainability held a successful zero-waste event at UNMC’s Employee Appreciation Day, meaning that at least 90% of waste by weight was diverted from the landfill.

Waste station volunteers assisted attendees in placing their waste in the correct stream. They also educated and raised awareness about sustainability efforts on campus – especially those that contribute to the med center’s net zero waste and engagement goals.

Of the 132 pounds of waste generated across the event’s three locations, a total of 119 pounds was diverted from the landfill by sending it to compost, recycling or the Hefty ReNew Program that processes waste into new resources.

The breakdown of waste streams was:

Compost: 69 pounds

  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Leftover food

Recycling: 41 pounds

  • Water bottles
  • Aluminum cans
  • Plastic cups

Hefty ReNew Bags: Nine pounds

  • Chip bags
  • Utensils
  • Other soft plastics

Landfill: An event that drew more than 500 UNMC employees generated only 13 pounds of trash.

Emily Wiley, an employee in the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions and a LiveGreen Ambassador, served as one of the volunteers at the event.

“Hearing those numbers at the end of the day, and knowing that we did it with a small team, was such a huge accomplishment,” Wiley said. “I hope more LiveGreen Ambassador volunteers will join future events to keep our zero-waste streak going strong.”

Anyone planning an event at UNMC can plan a zero-waste event. Check out the Office of Sustainability’s Zero Waste Event Toolkit or contact the Office of Sustainability to discuss.

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