Green Game competition results are in


In the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Race to Zero Waste GameDay Basketball competition, George Mason University joined more than 3.4 million college students and staff across the country to reduce the campus waste footprint through minimization efforts by donating, composting, and recycling more than 29.4 million pounds of waste.

students sorting trash
Students sort recyclables at the 2023 Green Game. Photo by Benjamin Auger/University Sustainability

As a result, collectively, we have kept more than 200 million single-use plastic containers out of landfills and prevented the release of 29,108 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equal to avoiding the annual emissions from 6,128 cars.  

 “The impact these colleges and universities have on reducing their waste footprint is tremendous and almost hard to comprehend. To prevent the release of more than 29,000 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and more than 200 million single-use plastics out of landfills is staggering and truly something to be proud of,” said Kristy Jones, director of higher education programs at National Wildlife Federation, which sponsored the competition. “The collective efforts to minimize waste and reduce stress on natural resources is inspiring and creating a better world for wildlife and the environment.”  

“Annually the Campus Race to Zero Waste competition provides key tools and opportunities that inspire, empower, and mobilize colleges and universities to improve their efforts to benchmark and promote their zero waste practices,” said Stacy Wheeler, president and co-founder of the competition.

pie chart of recyclables
Breakdown of waste from the 2023 Green Game

Mason’s 2023 Green Game was held on January 25, 2023, when the women’s basketball team competed against the University of Rhode Island at EagleBank Arena with 868 fans in attendance. With the help of 21 volunteers, who completed 66 hours of service learning, Mason successfully achieved an 84.2% diversion rate—the portion of waste not sent to the incinerator— (i.e., 41.6% compost and 42.6% recycling) through a post-game waste audit. 

The Green Game was Mason’s official entry into the competition. The results are in! 

Mason, competing among 23 participants, came in: 

  • 4th place Waste Diversion (84.2% diversion rate) 
  • 11th place Per Capita Recycling (0.078 lbs. per person) 

For the Green Game 2023, University Sustainability partnered with Mason Athletics, EagleBank Arena Operations and Events, Mason Dining (Sodexo), V&G Cleaning SVSC, Facilities Recycling and Waste Management, and volunteers. Read the full story here

Learn more about George Mason University Sustainability’s waste minimization efforts at

For more details about Campus Race to Zero Waste categories and winners, please visit the 2023 Scoreboard.  

Campus Race to Zero Waste—formerly known as RecycleMania—is the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities, managed by National Wildlife Federation, and governed by RecycleMania Inc. Campus Race to Zero Waste has been helping campuses minimize waste and improve their recycling efforts since its launch in 2001.