The EPA estimates that 75 percent of solid waste is recyclable and 24 percent is compostable. Unfortunately, only about 30 percent of waste is recycled and only 8 percent of Americans compost at home or work. This results in the average American generating 4.3 pounds of waste per day, with 1.3 pounds of that being food waste. With increasingly limited resources for product development and limited space for product disposal, reducing waste production and disposal can have a large, positive impact on our planet. For this reason and others, the IU Natatorium is striving to be a Zero Waste athletic facility.
Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused with the goal of no trash being sent to landfills or incinerators. This process is similar to the way resources are reused in nature. In order for an event or facility to qualify as Zero Waste, at least 90 percent of the waste must be diverted to either recycle or compost, leaving only 10 percent as trash.
The Zero Waste International Alliance states: “Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”