KNOXVILLE—As the University of Tennessee Volunteers face off against the South Carolina Gamecocks on October 29, Big Orange fans will compete against other football fans nationwide in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Game Day Recycling Challenge to determine which university recycles the most.
An initiative of the EPA’s WasteWise program, the Game Day Recycling Challenge is a friendly, nationwide competition for universities to promote waste reduction at their football games. In 2010, UT finished third in the SEC recycling category, collecting 0.18 pounds of recycling per person. Louisiana State University and the University of Arkansas finished first and second, respectively.
This year, Jay Price, UT facilities environmental coordinator, hopes UT will finish on top.
“We recycled 11 tons during the game against Georgia and 11.88 tons against LSU, so we have to step it up to about 18 tons to win the Game Day Challenge and also reach our goal of 80 tons for the season,” said Price.
Eighty tons—10 tons per game—is an increase from 2010, when UT recycled 54.7 tons of waste during the football season.
Price’s team makes recycling convenient and easy for Big Orange fans. Approximately 700 recycling bins are strategically placed at campus tailgating areas. An additional 350 bins are located inside Neyland Stadium and the skyboxes.
Before, during, and after this weekend’s game, UT recycling and dozens of volunteers will canvas campus tailgating areas to collect glass bottles, plastics, and aluminum cans, as well as food waste from Volunteer Village, Circle Park, Neyland Stadium skyboxes, and parking areas 9, 30, and G10.
“The football games are one area we’re focusing on to expand composting efforts this year,” Price said. “We are able to make a big impact in a short amount of time.”
Food waste is composted at UT’s on-site composting facility, located across from the UT Medical Center.
In related recycling news, the winners of the eighteenth annual Good Sports Always Recycle (GSAR) school challenge will be announced during the UT-USC game. Each year, Tennessee’s K-12 schools compete for recognition as one of the state’s top ten environmentally active schools.
Eastman Chemical Company co-sponsored the GSAR challenge.
“At Eastman, we believe sustainability is an attitude and we want to create a future environment our children and grandchildren can enjoy,” said Anne Kilgore, director of global sustainability at Eastman. “We hope to influence the next generation of UT students, fans, and employees.”
Judges determine GSAR winners based on a number of factors, including a school’s creative and campus-wide recycling and waste-reduction plan, active student and community involvement, efforts to integrate recycling into the curriculum, and current and future recycling goals.
Winning schools will receive a commemorative plaque and $500 to help grow their environmental efforts. In addition, a special tailgate will be held for the winning schools at Circle Park prior to the UT-USC game. The winners also will be recognized on the field during the game.
Good Sports Always Recycle™ is sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company, the Knoxville Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Waste Connections and Food City, in conjunction with UT. For more information, visit www.Eastman.com/GSAR, or contact Jennifer Wiggins at (865) 680-1457 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the Game Day Challenge, visit the WasteWise website. For more information on UT Recycling, visit www.facebook.com/utkrecycling.
Jay Price (865.974.3480, email@example.com)
Rebekah Winkler (865.974.8304, firstname.lastname@example.org)