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College football season is about to be in full swing. Stadiums will be full of fans across the country, which means there will also be lots of programs, boxes, and concession sales.  If not for programs like the GameDay Challenge, it would also mean millions of pounds of recyclable waste going to the landfills. The Game Day Recycling Challenge will be returning for another year, and the program is calling schools to come participate.


The Game Day Recycling Challenge showcases the top zero waste college stadiums across the country while also offering assistance to those programs who want to achieve more. It encourages schools to be more sustainable, eco-friendly, and to recycle whatever possible. This includes all products that are used or sold inside the stadium, outside the stadium, and in the tailgating/parking lot areas. The response to the program so far has been positive and it is continuing to grow. For the 2014 challenge, schools from 15 different conferences have already registered. In 2013, a stunning 88 college programs participated in the challenge.

The Zero Waste Hall of Fame showcases schools that have achieved waste diversion of 90% or more. Currently in the Zero Waste Hall of Fame are the following schools from previous years of participation:

The Ohio State University: 2013, 2014; Rutgers University: 2013; University of Colorado – Boulder: 2014; University of California – Davis: 2013; University of Nevada – Las Vegas: 2013


The Green Zone showcases schools that have achieved waste diversion of 70%-90%. The following schools have been added to the Green Zone from their recycling efforts in previous years:

University of Akron, University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, Assumption College, University of California – Berkley, Bowdoin College, Carroll University, Colorado State University, Franklin College, Harvard University, Humbolt State University, Kean University, Kent State University, Miami University – Oxford, Minnesota State University, University of Minnesota and Ohio University.

The Game Day Recycling Challenge is good for schools because it brings positive exposure to the athletic programs and expands the experience to the fans through zero-waste activities. The GameDay Challenge website offers case studies from schools who were able to make the program a success. There is also a helpline for people who have questions about the Game Day Recycling Challenge.


Winners of the 2014 competitionwill be recognized for each conference in five different categories. In addition, a national winner will be named for the total amount of material recycle or composed and food donated. Registration is open through September 30th for schools who wish to join in and compete. The contest ends on December 8th and the winners will be announced in the middle of the month. The program is managed by the College and University Recycling Coalition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Wastewise Program, and Keep America Beautiful.