Zero Waste Hockey Games at the University of Denver

The University of Denver Department of Sustainability recently made a commitment to push for zero-waste hockey games at the school. The Environmental Protection Agency defines zero waste as a minimum of 90 percent diversion rate, meaning that amount of waste becomes recycled or composted. For the season, the school hopes to divert 75 percent of game waste to recycling or compost. To achieve this goal, the school has recruited volunteers from among students, staff, and faculty who stand beside waste receptacles and help people in attendance use the correct bins. To reward these individuals, the University of Denver provides students with a meal voucher and free entrance to the event, as well as a special t-shirt that identifies the individual as a zero-waste volunteer. If organizations want to bring at least 30 members to the volunteer effort, they receive free advertising time on the Magness Arena big screen.

The new initiative holds that along with transforming the disposal of waste, Ritchie Center Athletics can rethink the ways in which it purchases and processes various materials associated with a campus sporting event. The program represents significant collaboration among several different campus groups, including Denver Athletics, Sodexo, custodial staff, and various sustainability partners.