Game Day Challenge cleans campus

Students clean up Walston-Hoover stadium after the Homecoming game as part of the game day challenge. Emily Novotny/TRUMPET

Remnants of Wartburg’s homecoming festivities could be seen all over Walston-Hoover Stadium this past weekend. Most of the mess could be recycled, but usually has been thrown away.

This season two Wartburg students are working to address this problem and turn trash into treasure.

Hailee Reist and Kaitlyn Proper are taking part in a national college movement called the Game Day Challenge.

Founded in 2009, the Game Day Challenge is a competition for U.S. colleges and universities to reduce the huge amounts of trash generated during football games. Each school must devise their own way of decreasing the litter while becoming more environmentally friendly. Game Day Challenge points can be collected based on the quantity of debris recycled.

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The Game Day Challenge has received outstanding reviews from its participants. The program reports that from September through November 2011, the 75 participating colleges and universities, along with 2.7 million students and fans, recycled close to half a million pounds of football game junk.

Reist and Proper hope to see similar results at Wartburg.

“It’s just important to get in it people’s heads, especially if they are seeing all the other people at the game recycling,” added Riest.

Working with their suitemates, Reist and Proper are using the Game Day Challenge for their monthly service project while living in the Sustainability Suite in the Residence Hall.

Reist and Proper were introduced to the program by Anne Duncan, Wartburg’s Sustainability Coordinator.

“The Game Day Challenge has never been at Wartburg before,” Reist said. “Anne Duncan brought it around to us and Kaitlyn filled out the paperwork and did all the registering.”

The pair worked both before and after the game.

“We decided we were going to go around and talk to people tailgating to ask them to recycle their cans,” said Proper. “We were going to make sure to have a recycling bin next to every trash can so people will always see that alternative.”

Following the game, Reist and Proper will assist with stadium clean-up.

“Ultimately, our whole goal is that everyone should know it was the Game Day Challenge that day,” Proper said, “Then they have it in their minds for the next game. Maybe that will give them an incentive to recycle.”

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