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Recycling Rivalry

Article-Recycling Rivalry

Winners announced in EPA’s 2011 Game Day Challenge.

Bowl Championship Series? What Bowl Championship Series? This month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of its 2011 Game Day Challenge, a competition among U.S. colleges and universities with the goal of lowering waste generated at college football games and increasing participation in and awareness of waste reduction programs. More than 75 schools competed by designing a waste reduction plan for one 2011 regular season home football game. The results were measured and submitted to EPA.

“Reducing, reusing, and recycling moves our nation towards an environmentally and economically greener, sustainable tomorrow,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, in an EPA press release. “These schools and fans have taken the lead through the Game Day Challenge, and now they are ready and equipped with tools and resources to continue to reduce waste across all campus activities and beyond.”

The winners of the 2011 Game Day Challenge are:

Waste Minimization Champion (Least amount of waste generated per attendee): Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Conn.

Diversion Rate Champion (Highest combined recycling and composting rate): University of California, Davis

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Champion (Greatest greenhouse gas reductions from diverting waste): University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Recycling Champion (Highest recycling rate): University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Organics Reduction Champion (Highest organics reduction rate): Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

In the final tally, 2.7 million fans at the 78 participating colleges and universities diverted more than 500,000 pounds of waste from football games, prevented nearly 810 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the annual emissions from 159 passenger vehicles, according to EPA. For a list of participating schools, results broken out by school and details on how the results were measured, visit www.epa.gov/gameday.

In addition to the Game Day Challenge, college students and personnel across the nation were asked to help divert more waste through EPA’s Food Waste Challenge under its Sustainable Materials Management program, which encourages schools to donate surplus and wholesome fresh food from sporting venues and cafeterias instead of throwing it away. According to EPA food is the single largest waste stream (by weight) that ends up in landfills. Out of the 165 million tons of waste that went into landfills in 2010, says the agency, food scraps made up 20 percent.

Details on the Food Recovery Challenge (which is open to any company, organization or institution that handles large amounts of food) can be found at www.epa.gov/foodrecoverychallenge.

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