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Ohio University was recently named a national winner of the 2015 GameDay Recycling Challenge, which engages hundreds of thousands of collegiate football fans in a waste reduction and recycling competition every fall.
OHIO was named the national winner in the diversion rate category, which measures recycling and organics recovery as a percentage of total trash. OHIO’s diversion rate was nearly 96 percent.
“The GameDay effort was led by Campus Recycling and the Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative, a program of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs,” said Ohio University Recycling and Refuse Manager Andrew Ladd. “However, we could not have been successful without the commitment and collaboration of OHIO Athletics, Grounds Services, the local Boy Scouts, The Marching 110 and their supporters, dozens of student volunteers and of course the active participation of the fans."
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. GameDay Recycling Challenge fans recycled or composted nearly 2.5 million pounds of game-day waste during the course of the fall season.
More than 22,000 fans attended the Oct. 17, 2015, Bobcat football game and recycled and composted 7,225 pounds of materials.
In the competition, 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.
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.
“Substantial progress has been made in moving major athletic events toward Zero Waste,” Ladd said. “Ohio University is again demonstrating to the nation that reducing what we send to the landfill to near zero levels is possible and valuable. When Bobcats come together, we can achieve anything.”