Eastern Washington University tied for first place with Ohio University in the 2016 GameDay Recycling Challenge, a nationwide competition among 79 colleges and universities to reduce and recycle the waste generated at home football games. EWU won with a diversion rate of 95.6 percent.
During each competition cycle, participating schools report recycling, compost and attendance data for at least one home football game.
“Over the past four years, we’ve studied what comes out of our stadium and tailgating areas to see what effect we can have on the front end to make it easier to handle on the other side, on our waste stream,” said Scott Buck, transportation supervisor in facilities services.
The home game EWU reported on was the Montana game Oct. 29, when a whopping 0.57 pounds per person was recycled.
In 2016, more than 2,667,845 pounds of materials were recycled, composted or donated throughout the season – a 4.8 percent increase over the amount recycled in 2015.
“In pursuit of a more sustainable future, this competition gives the university and students an opportunity to see how wasteful our society actually is and what can be done to mitigate that from the front and back side,” Buck said.
The GameDay Recycling Challenge is administered by the College and University Recycling Coalition, RecycleMania, Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise.