At Millersville University’s homecoming football game on October 29, the Marauders will engage in two separate competitions. The first competition will be the football game against the Shippensburg Crusaders, and the second will be a recycling competition against participating colleges from across the nation. Millersville was recently recognized as one of the top eco-friendly universities in the nation by Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges and is furthering their sustainability efforts with this competition.

“The game-day challenge is a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games,” says Elizabeth Karevicius, assistant to the vice president for finance and administration.

Throughout the challenge, colleges and universities across the United States will use waste management strategies during their home football games in hopes of being the recycling victor. Schools will then track and report their waste reduction and disposal data. They will be evaluated on the premise of waste generation, greenhouse gas reduction, recycling rate and organics reduction. These numbers will be calculated by simple formulas that take into account the number of attendees, pounds of trash, pounds of recyclables and pounds of compostables.

This challenge was made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WasteWise program, a voluntary program in which organizations reduce their costly municipal solid waste and select industrial waste that benefits the environment. The overall goal of the competition is to lower the waste generated at college football games and to heighten awareness of waste reduction programs.

In order to measure the amount of waste reduced at the game, solar-powered trash compactors called “BigBellies” will be brought to campus. These powerful and easy-to-use machines are used in more than 30 countries across many municipalities, universities and government facilities. They are also capable of displacing fossil fuels and turning them into renewable energy, in addition to reducing litter and associated health concerns. These compactors hold five times the amount of an average receptacle and only need to be emptied once per week.

Not only will these machines be used at the homecoming game, they will also be placed throughout campus to see how effective they are. “Soon, Millersville will see six ‘BigBelly’ trash and recycling containers placed around campus this fall,” says Roger Bruszewski, vice president for finance and administration. “The University would like to see how effective these machines are before ordering more,” says Karevicius.

The homecoming football game will take place on Saturday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m. at Chryst Field in Biemesderfer Stadium.

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