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USA: The Results Are In: 2011 Game Day Challenge Winners

“Reducing, reusing, and recycling moves our nation towards .... sustainable tomorrow," says Mathy Stanislaus

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the winners of the 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.

As part of the challenge which was underaken between September an November 2011 and to which more than 75 schools, colleges and universities across the USA participated, together with their 2.7 million fans.
Results measured, figures were submitted to EPA which showed that nearly 500,000 pounds (226.796 metric tonnes) of waste from football games was diverted.

This staggering amount was the result from just one regular season home football game. The reult of this would prevent more than 810 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released. The greenhouse gas emissions avoided is equal to removing 159 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
The winners of the 2011 Game Day Challenge are:

  • Waste Minimization Champion (Least amount of waste generated per attendee) - Central Connecticut State University

  • 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

  • Recycling Champion (Highest recycling rate) - University of Virginia

  • Organics Reduction Champion (Highest organics reduction rate) - Marist College

This past fall (autumn), 78 participating colleges and universities including 2.7 million fans 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.

The participating colleges and universities including the fans took one step further to green the gridiron and help build awareness around the importance of recycling, reducing, and reusing.
“Reducing, reusing, and recycling moves our nation towards an environmentally and economically greener, sustainable tomorrow.

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.”

Mathy Stanislaus
Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.
In 2010, Americans kept 85 million tons of waste out of landfills by recycling and composting, boosting the U.S. recycling rate to 34 percent. Out of the 165 million tons of waste that went into landfills, food scraps made up 20 percent. Food is the single largest waste stream that ends up in landfills. To address food waste, EPA’s Food Waste Challenge under the Sustainable Materials Management program encourages schools to donate surplus and wholesome fresh food from sporting venues and cafeterias, instead of throwing it away.

There are many other opportunities to reduce waste and save energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment. The competition was sponsored by EPA’s WasteWise program, a voluntary program through which organizations eliminate costly municipal solid waste and select industrial wastes, benefiting their bottom line and the environment.

More information on participant results:

More information on how the results are determined:

For a list of participating schools:

More information on the Food Recovery Challenge: