Game Day Challenge at EKU: Recycle More Aluminum Cans

Eastern Kentucky University is competing for more than a football championship this fall.

Students, faculty, staff and others will participate in the GameDay Recycling Challenge, a friendly competition among colleges and universities to reduce waste and increase recycling.

During the week leading up to the Colonels’ Homecoming game Oct. 25 against Southeast Missouri, pledges to recycle more will be solicited at various campus locations. The student-led EKU Green Crew and the University’s Office of Sustainability will assist with obtaining pledges.

“Our pledge is to recycle more aluminum cans and promote the use of aluminum cans instead of glass bottles, which are no longer allowed in the tailgating section,” said Randy Wilson, program coordinator with Campus and Grounds at EKU.  “At the end of the competition, we encourage people to come to the Nov. 15 EKU football game and donate their cans. We want to get data of how much waste is being diverted from tailgating and the waste steam.”        

All aluminum cans collected by the University are picked up by Novelis, of Berea, which provides matching in-kind donations, with all proceeds donated to Habitat for Humanity for Madison and Clark Counties.

“The partnership between EKU and Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark counties with the Cans for Homes program enables Habitat to build more homes in partnership with low income families in need of safe, decent and affordable housing,” said Judy Flavell, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Madison and Clark Counties. “Each year, the recycling program provides much-needed funds for construction. Cans turn into walls, roofs, flooring, siding, insulation, doors, windows, front porches, and everything that makes a Habitat house. It's a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in this mission, and it's as easy as saving your aluminum cans and placing them in the recycling bin for Habitat. Aluminum cans really can build homes.”

By signing pledges to recycle more, individuals and groups can compete for prizes, including a bicycle and various gift certificates, which will be awarded at the game on Nov. 15, also America Recycles Day. Winners of the intercollegiate Game Day competition will be announced on Nov. 30.

When EKU began its aluminum can initiative in 2003, it collected 2,500 pounds of cans. By 2011, that total had jumped to 16,305 pounds. As of 2014, the University has collected and recycled more than 112,000 pounds of aluminum cans – enough cans, if laid end to end, to reach from Richmond to Nashville, according to Wilson.

For more information about the Game Day Challenge, contact Wilson at

Published on October 07, 2014

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