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EPA’s Game Day Challenge Aims to Reduce College Football Waste

Posted on the 15 September 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

EPA’s Game Day Challenge Aims to Reduce College Football WasteGo to most any sporting event and the amount of waste produced is astonishing. From little trays and plastic spoons to giant foam fingers that end up discarded along with countless tchotchkes, the amount of trash generated overflows from bins and remains scattered around seats. In 2008, the University of Colorado at Boulder began an initiative to move toward zero waste at its home football games. “CU-Boulder’s ‘Ralphie’s Green Stampede’ initiative to move the campus toward a zero-waste football stadium makes CU the first BCS school — and the first major collegiate or professional sports program in the United States — to undertake such a sustainability measure.” According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, CU-Boulder’s Folsom Field has achieved zero waste status by diverting at least 80% of all recyclable and compostable waste. Now the Environmental Protection Agency is pushing for waste reduction across college campuses.

The EPA’s recent press release introduced their 2011 Game Day Challenge. Registration for the competition is now open for any American college or university with a football team (sorry Emory). “The challenge is for schools to design a waste reduction plan for one 2011 regular season home football game and measure the results. Schools can collect common materials for recycling including paper, beverage containers, cardboard, and food to be donated and composted.” The challenge is part of the agency’s WasteWise initiative, a free program that helps organizations reduce municipal and industrial waste, saving them money and resources.

EPA will present awards in five categories:

  1. Waste Generation: The school with the lowest per capita waste generation wins.
  2. Diversion Rate: The school with the largest overall (combines trash, recycling, and composting data) recycling rate wins.
  3. Greenhouse Gas Reduction: The school with the largest greenhouse gas reduction wins.
  4. Recycling: The school with the largest recycling rate wins.
  5. Organics Reduction: The school with the largest organic reduction rate wins.

According to the EPA, more than 75 schools took part last year. They diverted half a million pounds of waste from the landfills, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 940 metric tons.

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