Keep America Beautiful

College Football Fans Compete to Reduce Game-Day Waste

Tailgating fans to participate in Game Day Challenge across the country

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 4, 2012) – College football fans across the country will compete to see which school can become the powerhouse in waste reduction and recycling during the annual Game Day Challenge. Registration for this national competition is now open at The national champion will be announced in December.

The 2012 Game Day Challenge will be administered by the College & University Recycling Coalition (CURC), Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and the RecycleMania, Inc., with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The competition will be as intense off the field as it will be on the field during the collegiate football season. The rules are simple. Any college or university in the United States with a football program can enter. Schools choose a home football game, sign up with Game Day Challenge and then promote waste reduction and recycling at the football game. At the end of the game all waste and recycling is collected and measured. Waste and recycling numbers, plus game attendance, are then reported to Game Day Challenge and used to rank schools in several categories including: 

  • Least amount of waste generated per attendee
  • Greatest greenhouse gas reductions (from diverting waste}
  • Highest per capita recycling
  • Highest per capita organics recovery (food donation and composting)
  • Highest combined recycling and composting rate

Reducing waste generated at collegiate sporting events can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, 75 participating schools kept nearly 500,000 pounds of game-day waste out of the landfill, which prevented nearly 810 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released. That’s equivalent to removing nearly 160 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.

Winners of the 2011 Game Day Challenge were:

  • Waste Minimization Champion– Central Connecticut State University
  • Diversion Rate Champion  – University of California, Davis
  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Champion  – University of Virginia
  • Recycling Champion  – University of Virginia
  • Organics Reduction Champion – Marist College

Interested colleges are invited to join a free orientation webinar on Thursday, Sept.  6. To join the webinar, or get more information and register for the Game Day Challenge visit Follow the Game Day Challenge on Facebook and Twitter at and

In addition to participating in the Game Day Challenge, colleges and universities can take advantage of other programs offered by the host organizations. RecycleMania will continue the friendly competition beyond football season with its annual spring tournament, which will feature a basketball game-day component in 2013. Learn more about RecycleMania at KAB’s America Recycles Day (ARD) is offering tailgate recycling toolkits with free “I Recycle” t-shirts, recycling collections bags and other promotional items to help colleges stage events at football games. Learn more about ARD at CURC produces a free, bi-monthly webinar series featuring case study and best practice presentations on a variety of campus recycling and materials management topics. CURC will host a campus zero waste workshop on Oct. 14 in Los Angeles in conjunction with the 2012 AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) Conference & Expo. Learn more about the webinar series and zero waste workshop at

About College & University Recycling Coalition
The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) 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.

About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.
Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of over 1,200 affiliate and participating organizations, Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community's environment. To learn more, visit

About RecycleMania
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 605 colleges and universities in 2012 spanning all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and the U.K. Over an eight-week period, campuses compete to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. For complete competition background and details, visit the RecycleMania website at




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