UAB goes for the green at The World Games

UAB hosted its first zero-waste venue at the University Recreation Center, where the matches of racquetball and squash were held.

SPW InsideUAB hosted its first zero-waste venue at the University Recreation Center, where the matches of racquetball and squash were held. The World Games 2022 was hosted in various sites across the city of Birmingham, and one of the venues included the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s University Recreation Center. Here, spectators watched athletes from across the globe go for the gold medal in racquetball and squash, while also helping UAB Sustainability go for the green through their zero-waste initiative.  

Throughout The World Games, members of the UAB Sustainability team volunteered and staffed recycling stations at the events held in the Recreation Center. The members assisted spectators, volunteers and athletes in knowing which recycle bin to place each item, as well as gathering leftover food from containers to be composted.

“The World Games 2022 event is the first in the games’ history to plan for a zero-waste program,” said Bambi Ingram, UAB Sustainability manager. “We knew this would be a considerable challenge, and so we narrowed the focus to one venue. The Recreation Center was the perfect spot because it had limited entrance areas and easy access to a loading dock so our team could manage the recycling and compost hauling.” 

During the eight days when squash and racquetball were held, UAB Recycling and Sustainability collected 160 pounds of aluminum, 310 pounds of plastic and 311 pounds of compost.

In addition to plastic, cans and compost, the Sustainability team assisted with the recycling of broken sports equipment, disposable masks, and candy and snack wrappers, making the total amount of waste diverted over 1,000 pounds.  

SGW Inside 2“Moving toward zero waste is a major component of UAB Sustainability’s Strategic Plan for 2025,” Ingram said. “The World Games gave us a unique opportunity to test the processes for waste minimization, recycling, composting and food rescue. We learned a great deal, and we are excited about what we can do next on campus.”

Recycling on campus

UAB Sustainability’s Strategic Plan aims to reduce disposal of waste in local landfills and develop the university grounds for ecological stewardship. With UAB Recycling and UAB Sustainability, students, faculty and staff are easily able to recycle nine items in on-campus bins. These items include:

  • 1 plastic, which includes water and soft drink bottles
  • Office paper of any color
  • Newspapers
  • Non-food-contaminated, flattened cardboard boxes
  • Magazines
  • Non-food-contaminated paper items such as paper bags, mail, envelopes and folders
  • Aluminum cans

Learn more about recycling at UAB here.

Acceptable and unacceptable items of the center can be found here.

The UAB Recycling Center is open from 7-9 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday. For more information on the Recycling Center, click here.