Humboldt State Wins National Waste Reduction Competition - Humboldt State Now

Humboldt State Wins National Waste Reduction Competition

Humboldt State University topped over 50 universities across the country in the 2014 Game Day Challenge, a national competition that encourages waste reduction at university and college football games.

HSU students use a pedal-powered blender to make smoothies for tailgate attendees, without producing any waste.

HSU took first place in the “National Diversion Rate” category, besting campuses like Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Oregon in keeping compostable and recyclable material out of the landfill. “Trash generated at football games and other events is a big issue for all universities,” said HSU Sustainability & Waste Coordinator Morgan King. “The Game Day Challenge provides a great opportunity to mobilize our community to be advocates for waste reduction.”

HSU participated in the Game Day Challenge during the Oct. 7 Homecoming football game against South Dakota School of Mines. Prior to the game, HSU’s Sustainability Office set up compost and recycling collection bins around the stadium and tailgate area. Student employees and volunteers with the Waste Reduction & Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) were stationed at the collection bins to help fans recycle and compost. WRRAP hosted a pedal-powered blender, making zero waste smoothies for tailgate attendees.

Announcements were made prior to and throughout the game to encourage participation, and HSU Take Back the Tap hosted a four-spigot water bar so that fans could forego plastic bottled water. “We could not have won this competition without the efforts of our students and the cooperation and enthusiasm of the Athletics Department, vendors and fans,” said King.

Following the game, the Sustainability Office collected and weighed all trash, recycling and compost and found that the effort led to the diversion of more than 86 percent of waste from the landfill.

The 2014 Challenge was run by the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), RecycleMania and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program. This is the fourth year HSU participated. For more information, visit