CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa is hosting its first-ever competition of ideas on how to increase sustainability and reduce landfill waste.
Born from a collaborative effort between UNI’s Office of Community Engagement, Iowa Waste Reduction Center and John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are invited to participate in The Cedar Valley Green Business Competition: Solving Sustainability Problems.
Participants will pitch ideas on Earth Day, April 22. They are competing for a chance to win a $500 cash prize.
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“We know there is a real problem with landfill waste and its effect on our environment,” said Joe Bolick, director of the IWRC. “For example, 20% of Iowa landfill waste is made up of food waste and 97 of Iowa’s 99 counties don’t have commercial food waste composting available to them. That’s a major area of concern, and it’s just one part of a larger issue. The more people we can involve with their innovative ideas, the better.”
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A series of workshops and feedback opportunities will provide more information and support to participants prior to the final pitch:
March 31, 5-7:30 p.m.: Hands-on workshop at Gravitate Coworking, 200 State St., Suite 200 (food will be provid
l 7, 5-7:30 p.m.: Optional pitch feedback at UNI Business & Community Services, 8120 Jennings Drive.
April 22, 5 p.m.: Final pitches at the UNI Center for Energy & Environmental Education Auditorium and Atrium, 8106 Jennings Drive.
“We know there are great ideas out there, and that people sometimes need a little push to get them off the ground,” said Laurie Watje, director of the UNI JPEC. “We want to amplify the voice of anyone who is sustainability-minded and has an idea on how to reduce waste in the Cedar Valley.”
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