Recycling challenge at Camp Randall for Oct. 6 game

Oct. 3, 2012

by Jill Sakai

At the Big Ten home opener this weekend against Illinois, Badger fans can help Bucky compete.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Department has entered the Game Day Challenge, a friendly competition to promote waste reduction at college football games. During the challenge, colleges and universities implement waste reduction programs during home games. Schools track and report waste reductions and recycling data used to rank the schools at the end of the season.

The Athletic Department has teamed up with the university's Office of Sustainability and We Conserve Program to create the Be the WE (Waste Eliminator) Program. Volunteers from campus student groups, including REthink, act as recycling ambassadors on game day at Camp Randall to help educate fans about recycling and assist the UW facilities department in recycling efforts.

"We are asking all of our fans to use the recycling containers and avoid sending reusable materials to the landfill," says Frank Kooistra, the operations coordinator for the Office of Sustainability.

Badger football fans generate an average of 22,000 pounds of waste at each game. During the first three games of the 2012 season, UW-Madison has diverted 29 percent away from the landfills, recycling 18,920 pounds of plastic bottles and cups and cardboard.

The 2012 challenge is being run by a partnership of the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), RecycleMania and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise program.