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UNCA ranked among top schools for waste reduction
Tuesday, 01 June 2021 16:51

From Staff Reports

UNC Asheville recently was ranked as the top university in the food organics category in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2021 Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition among medium-sized campuses.

The award was given based on UNCA’s food donation and composting programs, which diverts uneaten food and food waste from the landfill. More than 200 college campuses in 43 states competed in Campus Race to Zero Waste, the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities.

During the eight-week competition, UNCA collected 30,136 lbs. of compost. The university also works in partnership with Food Connection, a local organization that picks up leftover food from campus — an average of 170 lbs. a week during the school year — and distributes it to organization that feed underserved populations. Other programs by UNCA Dining Services, operated by Chartwells, such as small plates, trayless dining, reusable to-go containers, repurposing food scraps into other dishes like stocks and smoothies, and awareness campaigns also contribute to the university’s food waste reduction and diversion.
"A big part of UNC Asheville's success this year is due to the fact that we didn't give up on sustainability during COVID,” said Jackie Hamstead, UNCA’s environmental specialist. “Our team worked hard to find innovative waste reduction solutions to adapt to shifting health and safety guidelines."
The award is one of many sustainability recognitions UNC Asheville has recently received, and it comes on the heels of UNCA signing the Carbon Commitment. UNCA’s newest residence halls, The Woods, are certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council, a UNCA press release stated.




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