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The Results Are In: 2011 Game Day Challenge Winners

Release Date: 01/10/2012
Contact Information: Stacy Kika,, 202-564-0906, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the winners of the 2011 Game Day Challenge, a competition among U.S. colleges and universities with the goal of lowering waste generated at college football games and increasing participation in and awareness of waste reduction programs. As part of the challenge, more than 75 schools across the nation designed a waste reduction plan for one 2011 regular season home football game, measured their results and submitted them to EPA.

“Reducing, reusing, and recycling moves our nation towards an environmentally and economically greener, sustainable tomorrow," says Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “These schools and fans have taken the lead through the Game Day Challenge, and now they are ready and equipped with tools and resources to continue to reduce waste across all campus activities and beyond.”

The winners of the 2011 Game Day Challenge are:

Waste Minimization Champion
(Least amount of waste generated per attendee) - Central Connecticut State University

Diversion Rate Champion
(Highest combined recycling and composting rate) - University of California, Davis

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Champion
(Greatest greenhouse gas reductions from diverting waste) - University of Virginia

Recycling Champion
(Highest recycling rate) - University of Virginia

Organics Reduction Champion
(Highest organics reduction rate) - Marist College

This past fall, 78 participating colleges and universities including 2.7 million fans diverted more than 500,000 pounds of waste from football games, prevented nearly 810 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the annual emissions from 159 passenger vehicles.

The participating colleges and universities including the fans took one step further to green the gridiron and help build awareness around the importance of recycling, reducing, and reusing. In 2010, Americans kept 85 million tons of waste out of landfills by recycling and composting, boosting the U.S. recycling rate to 34 percent. Out of the 165 million tons of waste that went into landfills, food scraps made up 20 percent. Food is the single largest waste stream that ends up in landfills. To address food waste, EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge under the Sustainable Materials Management program encourages schools to donate surplus and wholesome fresh food from sporting venues and cafeterias, instead of throwing it away.

There are many other opportunities to reduce waste and save energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment. The competition was sponsored by EPA’s WasteWise program, a voluntary program through which organizations eliminate costly municipal solid waste and select industrial wastes, benefiting their bottom line and the environment.

More information on participant results:

More information on how the results are determined:

For a list of participating schools:

More information on the Food Recovery Challenge: