University of Kentucky Recycling had a 47% waste diversion rate for the academic campus in the 2021 calendar year. UK has a target of diverting 50% of its campus waste from the landfill by the end of 2022 and is on track to reach or surpass that goal by the end of the year.
A waste diversion rate is the percentage of material (by weight) that is recycled, composted or reused, versus the total amount of waste generated. UK’s goal is to recycle, compost and reuse at least as much as is sent to the landfill.
The 2021 diversion rate is a 5% increase over 2020. The increase in diversion rate is due to:
- An increase in general recycling collected (from 791 tons in 2020 to 839 tons in 2021)
- An increase in cardboard recycled
- An increase in the residence halls’ recycling stream
- An increase in food waste diverted from dining facilities (from 33 tons to 42 tons)
- An overall increase in the UK community participating and supporting the university’s goals to reduce waste.
UK’s yearly participation in Campus Race to Zero Waste, a nationwide competition that encourages students to recycle, also helped in these efforts.