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Football Fans Help Ithaca College Win National Environmental Championship

ITHACA, NY — In a competition sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ithaca College won a national championship in the 2010 Game Day Challenge, part of an effort to increase recycling and composting on college campuses.

Participating schools tracked the amount of recycled, composted, reused, donated and disposed of waste during one home football game in the month of October. Winners were determined based on the amount of waste that was diverted from the landfill in relation to the amount of generated waste and the number of people at the game.

The October 30 game between Ithaca and Empire 8 Athletic Conference rival Utica College was targeted for the Game Day Challenge, with attending fans asked to place recyclable and compostable materials in the well-marked receptacles located around Butterfield Stadium.

Ithaca College and the University of Tennessee at Martin were declared cochampions in the Waste Minimization category, with each having only 0.078 pounds per person of waste generated at their respective selected games. The other award categories were Diversion Rate, Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Recycling and Organics Reduction.

The 77 participating schools together targeted more than 2.8 million fans, diverting more than 500,000 pounds of waste from landfills. This prevented the release of nearly 940 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 179 cars.

The Game Day Challenge is an initiative of the EPA’s WasteWise Program. “Through their participation in the challenge, these colleges and universities are showing that — win or lose — every campus can take something positive away from game day by the simple act of recycling,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

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