APRIL 2011

UC Davis takes first place in National Game Day challenge

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present UC Davis with an award for their impressive efforts to reduce waste during this year’s Aggies’ football season. The Northern California university took home first prize for achieving the highest waste diversion rate in the country as part of EPA’s 2010 Game Day Challenge, a national competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games.

The Aggies’ blew away their competitors by achieving a nearly 90 percent diversion of waste to recycling and composting, 20 percent higher than the second place university, Ohio State University. Their high mark was achieved during the October 23, 2010 home game when nearly all the waste generated by the crowd of 6,835 on hand was composted or recycled. The amount of waste sent to a landfill was only 90 pounds.

Key to their success in approaching their zero waste goal has been a commitment by their concessionaire to only sell items that come in recyclable or compostable packaging. For example, only candy in paper boxes is sold, and beverages are served in compostable cups, including a compostable straw. Student monitors provide assistance to fans to help them place their waste in the correct containers.

During the EPA’s National Game Day Challenge 77 participating schools targeted more than 2.8 million fans at football games. The schools together diverted more than 500,000 pounds of waste from landfills, which prevented the release of nearly 940 metric tons of carbon dioxide.