Source: Keep America Beautiful

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 18, 2014) – 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” at http://www.gamedaychallenge.org/zw. 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.

About Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

About the College & University Recycling Coalition

The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) is a membership-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance recycling and sustainable materials management at colleges and universities. CURC represents a vibrant community of recycling professionals in higher education on over 800 college campuses across the United States. CURC members connect with each other through an active email listserv and at gatherings in conjunction with state and national conferences. CURC provides support to collegiate recycling programs through technical assistance, education, and training, including a webinar series, annual workshops, and the development of best-practices manuals and toolkits. For more information, visit curc3r.org.

About RecycleMania

RecycleMania launched in 2001 as a friendly challenge between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on their campuses. The contest has expanded from two schools in 2001 to nearly 500 colleges and universities in 2014 spanning all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Over an eight-week period, campuses compete to see which institution can recycle the most and waste the least. The RecycleMania program is governed by a non-profit 501c (3) organization called RecycleMania, Inc. made up of a board of directors who are recycling and sustainability managers from a variety of participating universities. For complete competition details, visit RecycleMania.org.

About the Environmental Protection Agency’s Materials Management Program

Rethink. Think Beyond Waste doesn’t just mean making good decisions about the end of a product’s life cycle (recycling, composting, energy recovery, and landfilling). It refers to sustainable materials management – the use and reuse of materials in the most productive and sustainable way across their entire life cycle. Sustainable materials management conserves resources, reduces waste, slows climate change, and minimizes the environmental impacts of the materials we use. Learn more about SMM and what EPA is doing at http://www.epa.gov/smm/basic.htm.