Oct. 28, 2010

Football fans: Trim the trash for Game Day Challenge

by Diana Pounds

Iowa State will compete against nearly 90 other universities in the Game Day Challenge, a recycling contest sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Fans can help their schools win by reducing waste at the game and recycling everything else. The EPA will give each school scores based on fan attendance and the amounts of trash they pitch (less is better) and recycle at the game.

The student group Engineers for a Sustainable World, ISU's Live Green and athletics programs and the state Department of Natural Resources' Iowa Waste Exchange Program are partnering to provide many recycling options in and around Jack Trice Stadium.

Some 70 large ClearStream recycling containers will be positioned in tailgate areas for recycling such things as cardboard and beverage containers, said Merry Rankin, director of sustainability. In addition, the nonprofit organization Cans 4a Cause, Johnston, will collect any redeemable containers and donate profits to Iowa Special Olympics. Look for the big white cans, Rankin added.

How fans can help

Meghan Roberts, ISU senior and president of Engineers for a Sustainable World, offered some ways Cyclone fans can improve Iowa State's chances of winning the challenge:

  • Cut waste by bringing reusable items to the tailgate.
  • If you must use plastic cups and plates, bring those with recycling symbols and put them into recycling bins or, if you are in tailgate areas, into separate trash bags for post-game recycling collection.
  • Buy items that don't have much packaging.
  • Carry your stuff in reusable bags.
  • Recycle all cardboard and beverage containers (plastic, metal and glass) in the appropriate containers.
  • Spread the word to everyone you know who is attending the game and encourage them to do the same.

About the competition

The contest runs through the month of October. Each participating school tracks and reports its waste reduction and recycling efforts for one home game during the month. The EPA will announce Game Day Challenge winners in November.

Volunteers sought

Volunteers are needed to pass out recycling bags to tailgaters and staff recycling stations at Jack Trice Stadium. To volunteer, contact Merry Rankin, (515) 294-5052, mrankin@iastate.edu.