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Austin Peay State University to compete in “Campus Race to Zero Waste” to impact recycling efforts on campus


Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – On January 31st, Austin Peay State University joined the “Campus Race to Zero Waste,” with APSU competing against other universities in the medium category. The competition lasts through March 27th, which gives Austin Peay State University eight weeks to track the university’s recycling and composting weights.

Austin Peay State University sustainability coordinator Olivia Herron. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University sustainability coordinator Olivia Herron. (APSU)

CR2ZW wants colleges across the United States and Canada to compete in a fair and friendly way, to benchmark their college’s efforts against other colleges, and create support for recycling efforts on campus.

“Last year, I led this effort at Miami of Ohio for the 2020 competition,” Olivia Herron, APSU sustainability coordinator, said. “It was a really successful way for us to promote recycling on campus, and so when the opportunity came up this year at Austin Peay, I decided to enroll us in the competition.”

Multiple competitions exist within the CR2ZW, such as electronics recycling, composting, and case studies. Austin Peay State University will compete in the Per Capita Classic because recycling is already in place on campus. The University also will participate in the “Electronics Recycling” competition, which allows community involvement.

“We’re hoping that eventually, we’ll be able to expand,” Herron said. “This year, we are just doing a few competitions.”

Austin Peay State University’s sustainability office has placed recycling bins in every building on campus. However, students’ awareness of these bins remains low.

“The biggest thing is I want to use this opportunity to educate everyone on what can go in every bin on campus and then also where the recycling bins are on campus,” Herron said.

She is working with SGA senators to film social media content to inform students where to find the recycling bins across campus.

The sustainability office will use social media to keep students and faculty informed of APSU’s progress, not only through this competition but in future years. An APSU sustainability outreach intern will update the Instagram page weekly and make sure information is continually posted.

In order to measure the specific efforts being made across campus during this competition, the sustainability office will conduct waste audits.

“We are trying to make sure we are following the COVID-19 safety laws as close as we can,” Herron said. “We are still figuring out exact logistics but are hoping to do them on the building level in every building so we can make specific education information that we can share with students.”




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