Each year, thousands of football fans gather together inside college stadiums across the nation to cheer on their favorite teams with fellow students, friends and family. But while these fun and exciting celebrations are taking place, waste, recyclables and compostables are piling up in the stands and in bins.
To help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill during these sporting events, the College and University Recycling Coalition, RecycleMania, Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise host the annual GameDay Recycling Challenge, a nationwide competition that challenges universities to increase their recycling and composting efforts during home football games.
During each competition cycle, challenge participants track and report recycling, compost and attendance data for at least one home football game. In 2017, 70 participating schools recycled, composted or donated 2.06 million pounds of materials throughout the season.
The University of Akron was the national champion in the Diversion category (recycling, plus organics composting and recovery as a percent of total trash) with a 93.57 percent diversion rate.
“GameDay Recycling Challenge is something my staff looks forward to participating in every year,” said Andrew Henry, University of Akron’s manager of recycling, grounds, special services, parking and athletic maintenance, in a statement. “We are using lessons learned during the challenge, such as the strategy used to increase composting during gameday events, and using them in other campus waste diversion initiatives.”
To view the 2017 GameDay Recycling Challenge diversion rate winners, flip through this gallery. To view the 2017 GameDay Recycling Challenge total recycling rate winners, click here.