Colleges across the country compete to see who can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most waste.
As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 Game Day Challenge, any college or university in the U.S. with a football team (which excludes my alma mater which dropped its football program at the height of the depression in 1932) can take their competition off the gridiron and into the stands by competing to see which school can recycle, reduce waste and cut greenhouse gas emissions the most.
The challenge is for schools to design a waste reduction plan for one home football game in October and measure the results. Schools can collect common materials for recycling including paper, beverage containers, cardboard, and food to be donated and composted. The amount of waste generated and recycled will determine which school is the greenest.
Schools can win in several categories including the least amount of waste generated per attendee; greatest greenhouse gas reductions; highest recycling rate; highest organics reduction rate (i.e., food donation and composting), and; highest combined recycling and composting rate.
While I think EPA's challenge programs like these are a great place to start, why not step up the program and evaluate the categories over the course of a season? Reducing waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing recycling and composting for one game per season doesn't really gauge the staying-power or long term viability of such programs.
Registration for the competition is now open. To enroll in the Challenge, schools must complete and submit the Registration Form by September 30, 2010.
The winning colleges will be announced in November and, like last year, will be publicized on EPA’s website.