Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

January 2011

UCO Named National ‘Game Day Challenge’ Winner for Recycling Efforts


UCO Recycling
University of Central Oklahoma student Beth Marcotte recycles her plastic water bottle in a recycling bin placed on Central’s campus as part of its campus-wide recycling program. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Central as a winner in it’s 2010 Game Day Challenge, placing first in both the “Recycling” and “Greenhouse Gas Reduction” categories, competing against 77 other schools to reduce the most amount of waste during a home football game.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recently that the University of Central Oklahoma won first place in two out of five categories in the EPA’s 2010 Game Day Challenge, advancing the university’s role as a national leader in innovative sustainability initiatives.

Sponsored by the EPA’s WasteWise program, Central was one of 77 universities and colleges to participate in the challenge, encouraging campus communities to implement waste reduction programs during a home football game in October.

For its efforts during the Oct. 30 game against Texas A&M University-Commerce, Central won the challenge’s “Recycling” category, based on the per capita weight of recyclables collected, and the “Greenhouse Gas Reduction” category, determined by an estimate of greenhouse gas emissions reduced due to the amount of recyclable material collected per capita at the game. Central was the only institution to win in multiple categories.

The EPA estimates that, due to Central’s efforts, 4.11 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions were reduced overall and .003429 metric tons were reduced per person.

“Central leads the way in sustainable initiatives because our students, faculty and staff are all equally committed to fashioning a better, cleaner and healthier world,” said Tim Tillman, coordinator for Alternative Transportation at Central and an organizer of Central’s “Game Day Challenge” event.

“Our hope is that the example we set will have a ripple effect on Edmond, central Oklahoma and eventually the entire country.”

To compete in the challenge, Central encouraged the campus and community to bring their recyclable materials to the game where volunteers were on-site to assist with collection, measurements and unloading it to the proper receptacles.

Central teamed with multiple groups and departments from throughout campus and the community, including support from the Executive Vice President’s Office, the Physical Plant, Athletics and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a student organization that helped coordinate promotions, marketing as well as on-site volunteers for the challenge.

Additionally, Central also teamed with the City of Edmond to provide volunteers to help with on-site assistance and collection, and Waste Management and Recycle America to provide the collection containers.

The competition is just one example of sustainable, "green" initiatives at Central. Programs include it's use of 100% wind energy since 2006; the "Bum-A-Bike" program, which allows Central students, staff and faculty to check out bikes free of charge; the UCO Physical Plant's development of bio-diesel fuel from cooking oil used in campus restaurants to fuel university vehicles; a campus-wide recycling program, a Lean University program to eliminate waste in day-to-day processes; and "Connect by Hertz," the state's first car-share program.

“Everybody can make a difference when it comes to helping create a more sustainable environment,” said Tillman.

“We hope our efforts will encourage everyone to recycle and provide them with ways to make it possible.”

For more information about the challenge’s results, visit http://epa.gov/gameday , or contact Tillman at (405) 974-2786 or ttillman2@uco.edu.

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