CHARLOTTE - April 28, 2014 - UNC Charlotte’s zero-waste initiative to make Richardson Stadium a facility that ideally produces no landfill waste received the Outstanding Collaboration and Partnership Award from the Southern region of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) Southern region.
The award, which was presented at the association’s annual conference, recognizes “unique, innovative or distinctive partnership that benefits the University and the community.”
Originally a student effort, the zero-waste initiative was embraced by UNC Charlotte facilities management/recycling and gathered steam as more departments joined in support. Auxiliary services, student activity center and venue management and Chartwells, the University’s food service partner, were among the early adopters to commit time, effort and resources toward achieving the goal of a zero-waste stadium.
The goals of the University’s initiative were to minimize waste sent to landfills and wastewater systems by diverting biodegradable waste to composting or other landfill deferred systems whenever possible, and to maximize recycling efforts with on- and off-campus partners.
To achieve these goals, alternative packaging, even within national brands, sourced through collaboration with suppliers, was used. Only packaging that was compostable, recyclable or 100 percent post-consumer was used.* Support and cooperation from companies like Coca-Cola, Bojangle’s, Papa John’s, Below Zero (a third-party specialty food cart contractor) and Georgia Pacific were crucial to the success of this initiative.
Adjusting the packaging virtually eliminated recycling needs and bolstered the compostable portion. Alternative supplier products were selected to cut down the amount of non-recyclable and non-compostable items used in the kitchen areas, too.
Media Relations contact: Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830, BuffieStephens@uncc.edu