Zero Waste Program Returns to Krzyzewskiville

Student-driven sustainability effort diverts items bound for a landfill to composting and recycling

Student volunteers stand with some of the waste diverted from landfill during a K-Ville Zero Waste effort  during the 2019-20 season. Photo courtesy of Pooja Lalwani.
Student volunteers stand with some of the waste diverted from landfill during a K-Ville Zero Waste effort during the 2019-20 season. Photo courtesy of Pooja Lalwani.

Krzyzewskiville has long been one of Duke University's most beloved traditions. And this year, the annual rite of passage for hoops-crazed students will feature a reduced environmental footprint.

The K-Ville Zero Waste program geared back up for Saturday’s men’s basketball game against visiting Syracuse and will continue for four other home games remaining on the Blue Devils’ schedule. Organized by the Green Devils, a student-led group which promotes sustainability at Duke, the program features volunteers stationed throughout Krzyzewskiville on game days to help students and fans sort their waste into compost, recycling and trash bins which dramatically reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill. 

K-Ville Zero Waste Program organizer Pooja Lalwani, second from left, helps out at a game during the 2019-20 season. Photo courtesy of Pooja Lalwani.“... before games, there’s a lot of cans, food and just waste in general that get accumulated,” said Green Devils member and K-Ville Zero Waste Program organizer Pooja Lalwani, a junior Biology major. “A lot of that waste would usually just get put in the trash cans. This way we can pick out what can be composted or recycled.”

The K-Ville Zero Waste Program is an extension of Zero Waste Game Days, a joint effort involving Sustainable DukeDuke Facilities ManagementDuke Athletics and student volunteers, which modeled after the successful approach used to divert waste from the landfill during Duke football games.

Begun as a collaboration between the Green Devils, Duke Student Government and the line monitors that organize Krzyzewskiville, the K-Ville Zero Waste Program operated during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. During those two seasons, the initiative diverted 67 bags of compostable waste from landfills. The program went on hiatus last season as COVID-19 kept fans from watching Duke basketball home games.

“It’s awesome to have this back,” said Director of Athletics Facilities and Projects for Duke Athletics Jeremy Anderson. “We try to do our part in lessening our environmental footprint, so when they reached out, we were happy to continue those efforts. And it’s always great to partner with a group on campus to help them with something they have a passion for.”

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