By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
As the Mississippi State University Bulldogs take on the University of Tennessee Volunteers this afternoon, fans will be competing against schools around the country to see who can “Keep It Clean.”
MSU will participate in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Game Day Challenge, a nationwide competition that aims to cut down on waste produced at college football games by encouraging fans to recycle.
Following tonight’s game, MSU officials and members of the Student Association will collect the trash and recyclables and report any reduction in waste. Approximately 70 universities across the country will be ranked based on that data.
“The rankings can be based on several different parameters, but we’re doing the recycling pounds per attendance,” campus sustainability coordinator Jeremiah Dumas said. “We’ll take our overall weight of recycled material and divide it by our total attendance for the game.”
Dumas said there are plenty of recycling opportunities at the game, both inside the stadium and in the tailgating areas. Blue trash bins and bags will be widely available for recyclable materials.
The EPA Game Day Challenge will give MSU the chance to promote their own waste-reduction and recycling campaign, “Keep It Clean: Green Game Day, Sustainable Season.”
“This year, we’re going to make sure we have as many signs out as we can, not just by the trash cans, and revamp all of them because we feel like the message isn’t getting spread out enough,” Lynn Sekkenes, director of environmental affairs for SA said.
The universities will have a week to submit their numbers for EPA rankings.