GameDay Recycling Challenge invites colleges and universities across the nation to compete to see which school will produce the least amount of waste in their stadiums and tailgate areas this college football season.
Participating schools identify one or more games to report the amount of material diverted through recycling, composting and via food donations versus the amount thrown away.
Winners for each athletic conference will be recognized, with five different categories per conference. National winners will be recognized in two categories: 1) total amount recycled, composted and donated; and 2) diversion rate – or the percentage of waste diverted from the landfill.
Registered competitors represent 15 athletic conferences, including the Big Ten, Big 12 and The Ivy League. Colleges and universities are invited to accept the Challenge by registering on GameDayChallenge.org by Sept. 30.
“There are many benefits for a school participating in the GameDay Recycling Challenge,” said Robyn Hathcock, College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) board chair, and housing zero waste program coordinator of the University of Oregon. “Not only does it bring positive exposure for school athletic programs, it expands the fan experience through game-day recycling and zero waste reduction activities. Because the 2014 time frame has been extended, schools can include late-season rivalry games, which will increase exposure, enthusiasm and performance in the Challenge.”
To gain an edge in the Challenge and green their games throughout the season, schools staff stadium recycling bins with student volunteers inviting fans to do their part, donate excess food to local organizations, and encourage vendors to use recyclable and compostable service ware.
“Leveraging the school spirit that comes out during these classic football rivalries presents a unique opportunity to build awareness and connection to waste reduction and recycling among college football fans of all ages,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful.
“As more and more college football stadiums step up their sustainability game, the GameDay Recycling Challenge showcases the top zero waste college stadiums in the country while offering technical assistance and support to stadium-based recycling programs that want to achieve more,” said Stacy Wheeler, RecycleMania, Inc. president. “The response to the Challenge so far has been remarkably positive and growing.”
This year, GameDay Recycling Challenge will also honor schools that are committed to Zero Waste via an online “Zero Waste Wall of Fame”. Zero waste is commonly defined as reaching a 90 percent or higher diversion rate.
Last season, 88 schools competed in the GameDay Recycling Challenge, which is managed by CURC, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Wastewise Program, Keep America Beautiful, and RecycleMania, Inc.
Challenge participants diverted 1.5 million pounds of material from the waste stream in 2013, preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 413 cars from the road for a year.
For more information about the GameDay Recycling Challenge, visit GameDayChallenge.org.