BATON ROUGE – The GameDay Recycling Challenge, or GDRC, which engages hundreds of thousands of collegiate football fans in a waste reduction and recycling competition every fall, has announced its 2015 national winners, and LSU led the nation in total recycling with 86,400 lbs. LSU also led the Southeastern Conference in tons recycled per capita.
“Campus Sustainability is extremely excited that LSU won the 2015 EPA GameDay Challenge, and we believe our victory can be attributed to the hard work of our student, faculty and staff volunteers, as well as our efforts to engage the entire campus community in recycling,” said Tammy Millican, assistant director for facility and property oversight.
The competition pitted 99 colleges and universities against each other in a fun and friendly way with the goal of engaging fans to reduce their game-day waste, while composting and recycling more. Ohio University led the nation in the diversion rate category (recycling/organics recovery as percent of total trash) with 95.71 percent. GameDay Recycling Challenge fans recycled or composted nearly 2.5 million pounds of game-day waste during the course of the fall season.
Participating schools are ranked based on the quantity of recyclables, food organics and other materials diverted from the landfill at college football stadiums and tailgating areas. During the competition, schools tracked weights for individual games, with the totals used to rank schools nationally and by athletic conferences.
“Participating in this challenge builds on our aggressive goal of reaching a 50 percent recycling rate per month consistently for 2015. Recycling game day waste, due to the incredible volume, is extremely central to our meeting this objective,” Sarah Temple, campus sustainability manager.
The complete list of national and conference winners is available on the GDRC website at http://gamedaychallenge.org.
Together, the participating colleges and universities recycled or reused 2.1 million pounds of bottles, cans, paper, cardboard and other materials, in addition to composting or recovering 457,000 pounds of food organics. Diverting these materials from the landfill prevented the release of an estimated 3,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This is equivalent to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 768 passenger vehicles, or the emissions produced by the annual electricity use of 333 households.
“Here’s an innovative way to understand the significance of the environmental footprint of GameDay events,” said Stacy Wheeler, president, RecycleMania Inc. “Rather than pitch it all, GameDay Challenge stadiums are refining how they recover and recycle their waste, and at the same time educate a new generation of stadium fans.”
The GameDay Recycling Challenge is produced through a partnership of the College and University Recycling Coalition, or CURC; Keep America Beautiful; and RecycleMania Inc. The program is made possible through the generous support of the Ardagh Group.
“Ardagh Group was honored to support this year’s GameDay Recycling Challenge to promote and increase recycling on college campuses and universities,” said Alex Robertson, chief commercial officer for Ardagh Group’s North American Glass division. “Our sponsorship has provided us with the opportunity to rejuvenate the focus on recycling, saving valuable resources from being discarded in landfills.”
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful wants to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. The group envisions a country where every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering in America, improve recycling in America, and beautify America's communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To learn how you can donate or take action, visit http://kab.org.
About the College & University Recycling Coalition
The College and University Recycling Coalition is a membership-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance recycling and sustainable materials management at colleges and universities. CURC represents a vibrant community of recycling professionals in higher education on over 800 college campuses across the United States. CURC members connect with each other through an active email listserv and at gatherings in conjunction with state and national conferences. CURC provides support to collegiate recycling programs through technical assistance, education, and training, including a webinar series, annual workshops, and the development of best-practices manuals and toolkits. For more information, visit http://curc3r.org.
RecycleMania was launched in 2001 as a friendly challenge between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on their campuses. The contest has expanded from two schools in 2001 to nearly 400 colleges and universities in 2015 spanning 49 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Over an eight-week period, campuses compete to see which institution can recycle the most and waste the least. The RecycleMania program is governed by a nonprofit 501c(3) organization called RecycleMania, Inc. made up of a board of directors who are recycling and sustainability managers from participating universities. For complete details, visit http://RecycleMania.org.
About Ardagh Group
Ardagh Group is a global leader in glass & metal packaging solutions and a key supplier to most of the world's leading food, beverage and consumer care brands. Operating 89 manufacturing facilities across 21 countries, Ardagh employs almost 19,000 people and has global sales of approximately $6.2 billion (Eur 4.7 billion). For more information, visit www.ardaghgroup.com.
Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations