Ohio University competes in GameDay Recycling Challenge
The Ohio University community came together once again this year to successfully compete in the GameDay Recycling Challenge.
Each year, colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada compete in the GameDay Football Challenge, a recycling and waste reduction competition to minimize waste generated during a designated football game.
This challenge is a part of Campus Race to Zero Waste, an organization that encourages colleges to reduce their waste through various competitions.
This year’s GameDay Football Challenge was held on Oct. 21.
The four categories that campuses can participate in are recycling per capita, waste minimization per capita, food organics per capita, and outdoor clean-up events. Ohio University competed in all four of these categories in this year’s competition.
Extensive efforts were made prior to and during the game to ensure the event was successful.
In the days leading up to the event, Campus Recycling staff members set up recycling, compost, and landfill bins in the Peden Stadium. On game day, Campus Recycling ran the Zero Waste tent in Tailgreat Park. In the Zero Waste tent, waste was sorted into recyclables, compostables, donatables, and landfill. Waste was also sorted from the Marching 110’s and the football team’s pre-game meals, tailgaters at Tailgreat and the Convocation lot, and concessions from the stadium.
In addition, blue recycling bags and green compost bins were distributed to all tailgaters who needed them to encourage individual efforts to divert waste. In the stadium, staff and Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors educated fans on how to correctly dispose of their waste.
EllieAna Shanklin, one of Campus Recycling’s staff members, shared that "GameDay Challenge is a great initiative that not only helps to divert waste from the landfill, but forces people to think about all the waste that is created from events like football games. Being a part of this initiative really puts things into perspective, and I hope it will help more people realize how much waste we as humans produce, but how easy it is to dispose of it properly."
Ohio University diverted 1,060 pounds from the landfill as part of the GameDay Challenge. Bobcat fans, volunteers and Campus Recycling staff members recycled 528 pounds, composted 532 pounds, and landfilled 361 pounds. The diversion rate, meaning everything that was recycled, composted, or donated out of the total amount of waste, was 74.6 percent.
This high diversion rate would not have been possible without the help of Campus Recycling’s many partners in the challenge including the Office of Sustainability, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Climate and Sustainability Ambassadors, Athens Hocking Recycling Centers, Facilities Management and Safety, the Marching 110, OHIO Athletics, and the local scout troop and cub-scout pack #71.
Tyler Senall, a volunteer at GameDay Challenge, shared that he’s “seen the statistics regarding waste generation at large events, but being on the ground and properly sorting was eye-opening.”
“Moving forward, “ Senall added, “more initiatives like this one and additional interaction with the public will help raise general awareness and assist individuals in realizing the roles they can play for being more sustainable in their everyday lives.”