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2009 Success Story: Ohio University

Facts at a Glance

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Program Overview

Ohio University has been running a comprehensive recycling program at homecoming and athletic events for years, bringing an abundance of enthusiasm and experience to the Game Day Challenge.

Trash and recycling bins were paired and placed at the entrance to the stadium, as well as by the vending area and on the walkways around the stadium. There were no containers in the seating areas, but a Boy Scout Troop picked up any materials left in the seating areas the following morning. In the tailgate areas Ohio targets beverage containers and cardboard, and in 2009 they targeted food from boosters organizations. The boosters set a great example each year and many other groups follow their example. Ohio also works with the food vendor who does most of the food recovery from the games, to ensure that waste is minimized.

During Ohio’s homecoming parade, the homecoming committee required all parade participants to use recovered materials in float construction Exit EPA. All of the Greek system homecoming floats, and a few from other groups, were recycled after the Homecoming parade. The marketing and communications department documented the homecoming float recycling program.

Ohio’s recycling program covers all athletic competitions and nearly all non-athletic events as well, throughout the year. Ohio recycles at their home basketball games through an adopt-a-game program, which allows clubs and fraternities to earn community service credit by gathering recyclables during games. Ohio has volunteers report a half hour before the game at the student entrance of the arena, where they go through a short training session and assign pairs of volunteers to sections of the arena. During time-outs and half-time and a few minutes at the end of the game the teams go up and down the aisle in their areas and collect recyclables and trash from the people in the stands, like reverse vending. So, by the end of the game most of the materials normally left behind are already cleaned up leaving only a small amount left to finish picking up.

Ohio recently received a grant for 1.5 million dollars to expand their food recycling program. They are hoping to make great strides to zero wasting their events and all food venues on campus and even start targeting the surrounding town’s food waste. This operation has hired a bargaining unit position and several students. The school’s Recycling and Refuse Manager Ed Newman has set many ambitious goals for the future, including a target of recycling 80% of the waste generated at the university, and is a fantastic role model for other college and university leaders.

Ohio is hoping to join forces with RecycleMania and ISP, a sports promotion organization that does their work at about 60 schools.

During Game day challenge the only addition Ohio made to their normal recycling routine for football games was putting signage on all of their recycling bins to inform people about the Game Day Challenge.

All of the recycling bins are coupled with trash bins. Ohio got a lot of beverage containers from places like the Marching Band so they put extra bins with them.

Ohio recovered some food from this event and took it to a local homeless shelter. Ohio also recovered some reusable material besides homecoming float materials: such as umbrellas, coolers, food, and promotional items, that are also donated to reuse organizations and charities.

Results from 2009 Game Day Challenge
Category 2009 Result
Diversion Rate (%) 65.11%
Per Capita Waste Generation (lbs/person) 0.23
Gross GHG Reductions (MTCO2E) 6.6
Per Capita Recycling (lbs/person) 0.15
Per Capita Composting (lbs/person) 0.013

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