From changing tires to scavenger hunt, UK celebrates Waste Reduction Week

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Public Affairs) University of Kentucky Recycling is hosting the first Waste Reduction Week from April 12–16 and plans for this to be an annual observance.

“In 2020, the university recycled, donated, reused and composted over 7.2 million pounds of material, but there is more work to be done,” said Joanna Ashford, UK’s recycling coordinator. “With the university actively working toward a 50% waste reduction goal, Waste Reduction Week will provide students with opportunities to learn more about how to reduce their impact.”

This initiative was started by UK students Olivia Tussey (a junior) and Bethany Schagane (a senior), both sustainability interns with UK Recycling. The weeklong event will tackle a wide range of waste related topics, from how to fix your car, how to stop food waste and even a pop-up thrift shop with free clothes.

“It takes all of us, working together, to make an impact on the waste we produce,” Tussey said. “We want to empower students to understand how they can make an impact every day on campus.”

Events for the week include:

  • Monday, April 12 – Fix it Fest: How to Fix Your Car

Learn how to take care of your car: change a tire, check your oil, check fluids and basic troubleshooting.

William T. Young Library Walkway

11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 13 – Pop-up Thrift Shop

Free clothes! Be sure to follow @UKYRecycles on Instagram for a sneak peek.

William T. Young Library Walkway

11 a.m.–3 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 13 – Virtual Documentary Screening: “True Cost”

Join an online screening to learn more about the clothing industry and how you can make a difference.


8–9:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, April 14 – Documentary Screening: “Just Eat It”

Join UK Recycling for a documentary under the stars to learn more about food waste. Special thanks to UK Student Wellness for providing free blankets and a Wellness Hut on food and nutrition.

Main Lawn

8–9:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, April 15 – Beymer-Farris and Jeff Seay: Engineering Sustainable Solutions to the Plastic Waste Crisis in Africa

Gatton Student Center Room 330; Facebook Livestream

5-6 p.m.

  • Friday, April 16 – Scavenger Hunt Finale

Students who participate in the weeklong scavenger hunt, will receive a free T-shirt!

Gatton Student Center Plaza

10 a.m.–1 p.m.

The first 250 students to attend two or more events and fill out a survey will receive a free reusable utensil set and be entered to win one of three Waste Reduction Week grand prizes — a zero-waste kit.

“Thanks to a partnership with the Student Sustainability Council, we are excited to be able to offer such a cool grand prize,” said Bethany Schagane. “There are so many opportunities during Waste Reduction Week to learn and get free useful items: free tire pressure key chain, free clothes at the pop-up thrift shop, a free T-shirt at the scavenger hunt finale and then the grand prize!”

For more information about Waste Reduction Week, check out UK Recycling’s website. Be sure to follow UK Recycling on InstagramFacebook and Twitter — @UKYRecycles — to stay up to date on all things waste reduction at UK.

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