LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell was among 68 universities that participated in the 2017 GameDay Recycling Challenge.

During the football team’s Homecoming game against Lehigh on Nov. 4, five campus organizations collaborated to reduce and recycle the waste generated. Bucknell and Lehigh were the only Patriot League teams, and two of 14 FCS programs, to take part in this season’s GameDay Recycling Challenge.

“We decided to take the challenge during the Lehigh game to try to beat them on and off the field,” said Merritt Pedrick, Bucknell’s Director of Operations for the Facilities Department. “This year, our diversion rate of 43 percent eclipsed Lehigh’s rate of 39 percent. More importantly, we have increased our recycling rate during games from 27 percent to 43 percent over the past four years.”

Pedrick said events like the GameDay Recycling Challenge, which are held under the banner of the athletic department’s "Orange & Blue Goes Green" initiative, are important to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and other sustainable practices.

“We participate to keep waste reduction in the minds of everyone involved in events like football games,” Pedrick said. “We hope having this event will change the culture so everyone involved automatically thinks about waste reduction while enjoying the event. Our goal is to continue to educate personnel, reduce waste and provide easy recycling options.”

Bucknell’s participation was sponsored and supported by Development & Alumni Relations, the Environmental Club, the Facilities Department, Dining Services and the Department of Athletics & Recreation. 

“Five groups came together to make this year’s event a success,” Pedrick said. “The Homecoming Tailgate Tent Event was a great venue to present waste reduction opportunities, and Development & Alumni Relations provided support, including announcements, advertising and t-shirts for the volunteers. The Environmental Club provided volunteers to work the game, the main tent event and other individual tailgates and also answered questions about recycling. The Facilities Department collected and weighed all the waste. Dining helped with advertising, used recyclable cups and flatware and also collected all recyclable containers and cardboard in the back of the house. Athletics & Recreation provided advertising support during the Homecoming football game and other tailgate activities.”

The GameDay Recycling Challenge is a nationwide competition among universities to reduce and recycle the waste generated at home football games. During each competition cycle, participating schools report recycling, compost and attendance data for at least one home football game. The GameDay Recycling Challenge is administered by the College and University Recycling Coalition, RecycleMania, Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise. For more information, visit GameDayChallenge.org.