Zero-waste Commencement Receptions

This year’s Commencement ceremony was planned and held very differently from previous years. On Friday, May 13, a ceremony with all departments, undergraduate and graduate, was held at Fauver Stadium with approximately 8,000 people present, in a grand celebration to honor the class of 2022.

The importance of reducing waste this time of year is crucial, with efforts such as the Move-out Cleanout program. This year, additional efforts were taken to make the Commencement departmental receptions zero-waste. Efforts were made to ensure food was served on compostable plates with compostable utensils. Rangers were stationed to ensure that material was sorted accordingly as recyclable, compostable, or trash. We were pleased to report that trash was kept at a minimum, less than 10%, and the compost stream was plentiful!

Thanks to the volunteers who helped that day (see them pictured on Facebook) and to the Grounds department for setting up the stations and hauling material. You all worked hard and your efforts were appreciated!

2 Replies to “Zero-waste Commencement Receptions”

  1. Hi Keane, we understand your concern about the bottled water at the commencement ceremony. We tried to find a balance between reducing waste and keeping people safe, as there were some attendees who required medical help due to the heat despite the water. We considered having a refillable water station, but as many people would not have brought their own bottles, we would have had to provide cups. It’s something we’ll have to keep in mind for next year.

  2. The university-wide commencement itself was not sustainable at all. I understand it was hot, but they were passing out bottled water like it they were candy. Hundreds, probably thousands, of unnecessary plastic bottles everywhere, I was really disappointed.

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