During this collegiate football season, more than 85 schools across the nation took on the challenge to collect cans and bottles, cardboard, food waste and more from the tailgate areas, stadium seating and concessions during at least one home game. Schools measured and reported their results along with game attendance for ranking in five categories; Waste Minimization Champion (Least amount of waste generated per attendee), Diversion Rate Champion (Highest combined recycling and composting rate), Greenhouse Gas Reduction Champion (Greenhouse gas emissions prevented by diverting waste), Recycling Champion (Highest recycling per attendee) and organics Reduction Champion (Highest organics recovery per attendee).
More than just a competition, Game Day Recycling Challenge is an opportunity for participating schools to demonstrate to students and team supporters that recycling and reducing waste are not activities limited to the home or office. Many participating schools deployed teams of volunteers to collect cans and bottles from pre-game tailgaters. Other schools engaged their mascots, set up zero-waste stations inside the stadiums to collect food scraps and more, or arranged for special recycling messages to be announced during the game. Still others used the opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of America Recycles Day, which takes place on and around Nov. 15.
You can read about the University of Rochester’s game plan for the challenge here.
Check out the pictures from our Facebook page here.
See our poster designed by marketing intern, Wendy Long here.
So how did we do? We collected a total of 943 pounds of recyclable and compostable materials, with 450 pounds of trash sent to the landfill. With an overall attendance of 3125 people, that breaks down to .3 pounds per person for recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastic metal, and glass), as well as .014 pounds per person of compostable material collected. Our overall waste diversion rate was 67.7%, meaning that out of all the waste, recyclables, and compostable material generated from the game, two thirds was diverted from being sent to the landfill!! These efforts saved 1.54 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent from being released into the atmosphere. Here’s our rankings:
- Waste Min- 38th place out of 62 schools
- Recycling per capita- 18 out of 67 schools
- Organics- 24 out of 29 schools
- Diversion Rate- 18 out of 61
- Green House Gas- 16 out of 67 Schools
Encouraging collegiate sporting events can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During this year’s competition, 6.4 million fans at 88 participating schools kept nearly 1.46 million pounds of game-day waste out of landfills, which prevented approximately 1,980 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released.
A big shout out to the winners:
- Waste Minimization Champion – Central Connecticut State University (2nd year running!)
- Diversion Rate Champion – Ohio State University (2nd year running!)
- Greenhouse Gas Reduction Champion – Franklin College (2nd year running!)
- Recycling Champion – Franklin College (2nd year running!)
- Organics Reduction Champion – University of Akron (new Champion!)
For more information:
For more information about participant results: