There’s more than just football to be excited about on Saturdays this season. Notre Dame, along with many other colleges and universities from across the country, is participating in the Game Day Challenge 2012. The Game Day Challenge is a friendly competition with three main goals: reduce the waste generated at college football games, heighten awareness of waste reduction programs, and increase participation in waste reduction programs.
A major focus of the Game Day Challenge is to increase the amount of waste that is recycled. To facilitate this, the Office of Sustainability hosts Game Day Recycling on home football game Saturdays. On the day of the game, students disperse themselves amongst the tailgaters and distribute blue recycling bags while also answering questions about single stream recycling. In addition to increasing the amount of waste that is recycled, students earn $7 an hour towards a club or dorm of their choosing.
This is the third year that Notre Dame has participated in the Game Day Challenge and the sixth year that the university has run Game Day Recycling. In past years, schools had to choose a single game to participate in the challenge. Now, schools can record how much waste is generated and recycled for every home game and their best day of reduction will be taken to determine the winners.
“We treat every home game like we’re participating in the Game Day Challenge and we always have,” said Myles Robertson of the Office of Sustainability. “The dynamic of the Challenge has changed but our program will remain about the same and just as effective.”
At this year’s first home football game against Purdue, a total of 21.1 tons of waste was diverted from the landfill, making Notre Dame’s diversion rate 44%, which is 12% higher than the national average.