FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – When it comes to keeping waste generated during a football game out of the landfill and back into a recycling program, no one in the Southeastern Conference can compete with the University of Arkansas. In fact, few in the country can even match up.
Based on results recently released as part of the 2017 Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Game Day Challenge, the University of Arkansas is tops in the SEC and ranks second in the nation in recycling at college football games.
Arkansas participated in the challenge for the Auburn game during the 2017 football season. Razorback Athletics teamed up with Boston Mountain Solid Waste District and the University of Arkansas’ Office of Sustainability to process 56,540 pounds of recycled materials from those attending the game. The mark led the SEC by a wide margin and was second in the nation only to Clemson University. It marked the second straight year Arkansas has led the SEC in recycling and recorded a top-three finish nationally in recycling. Arkansas finished third in total recycling in 2016.
Arkansas led SEC schools in three other categories in the competition, including diversion rate (78.659), the process of diverting waste from landfills. The rate also ranked Arkansas eighth in the nation in that category.
Arkansas ranked first in the SEC in Per Capita Recycling (.786) a measurement of pounds of recycling per person attending the game. Arkansas led the SEC in greenhouse gas reduction per capita (.001239) and ranked fifth among SEC schools in waste minimization (.999).
“As Razorbacks we strive to be the best in everything we do,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “Thanks to the cooperation of Razorback fans and our sustainability partners on campus and in the community, the University of Arkansas is helping set the standard for gameday recycling practices. I want to thank our Athletics Facilities staff and all those who contributed to helping us lead the SEC and finish second nationally in the 2017 recycling challenge. We will continue to work to minimize our footprint while bringing awareness to the importance of recycling throughout our community.”
The GameDay Recycling Challenge is a nationwide competition among universities to reduce and recycle the waste generated at home football games. During each competition cycle, participating schools report recycling, compost and attendance data for at least one home football game. The GameDay Recycling Challenge is administered by the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), RecycleMania, Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise.
As part of the competition, blue recycling bags were distributed to tailgaters and Razorback fans were encouraged to throw their recyclable waste in recycle bins located in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, as well as parking lots and tailgating areas on campus. A 10-foot trailer was located at The Gardens while an additional trailer was located at Victory Village North, just north of the stadium and near the Tyson Poultry Science Center.
This was the seventh year that the University of Arkansas has competed in the challenge that encourages students and fans to go “green” and recycle waste during football games. Razorback Athletics continues to be a leader in sustainability efforts on campus and throughout Northwest Arkansas.