The University of Virginia Department of Athletics and U.Va. Sustainability are again partnering to compete in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Game Day Challenge,” to be held Oct. 13, when the Cavalier football team hosts the University of Maryland at Scott Stadium.
The competition is part of the EPA’s WasteWise program, which is designed to promote waste reduction and increase awareness of waste-reduction programs. Approximately 80 colleges and universities will implement waste-reduction programs during a selected home football game in October. They will track and report recycling and waste data that will then be used to rank the schools. The EPA will announce the winning schools in November.
“U.Va.’s challenge this year is to defend our titles as Recycling and Greenhouse Gas Reduction champions,” Nina Morris, sustainability outreach coordinator for Facilities Management, said. “We plan on recruiting additional student volunteers to help collect recyclables and get fans excited about contributing to the game and showing their Cavalier pride.”
Following the game, recyclables will be weighed and compared to the total amount of trash generated. U.Va. Sustainability plans to compete in the category for the best recycling rate per person attending the game.
Last year, U.Va. claimed victory in two categories of the national waste-reduction competition, scoring first in having greatest greenhouse gas reductions from diverting waste and for having the highest recycling rate. Student volunteers and Facilities Management employees collected 22,125 pounds of bottles and cans at the game, along with 6,010 pounds of cardboard and 17,000 pounds of trash.
Approximately 100 student volunteers will assist with this year’s Game Day Challenge on Friday and Saturday. Wearing orange shirts with the words “’HOOS RECYCLE,” the volunteers will deliver bags to tailgaters across Grounds, explain the contest and encourage fans to recycle.
U.Va. Recycling will set up extra recycling containers for the game. Volunteers will be stationed at the stadium entrances to encourage fans to recycle as they enter. Announcements supporting the effort will also be made throughout the game.
This is U.Va.’s third Game Day Challenge.
The University has also received two awards this year for its recycling program: the Bronze Excellence Award for Recycling Systems from the Solid Waste Association of North America and the Recycler of the Year award from the Virginia Recycling Association.