Increased engagement with fans and a streamlined process behind the scenes led to a successful second season for the university’s Game Day Recycling program. During the Demon Deacons’ first six home games, fans, volunteers, and Athletics staff members worked together to divert nearly 7 tons of cans, bottles and cardboard recycling from the landfill.
The highest diversion rate for any single game occurred during Homecoming weekend. As the Deacs battled the Hokies on the field, Deacon fans of all ages ensured that 19 percent of waste from the stadium hit the recycling center instead of the landfill. Fans recycled more than 2700 pounds of cans and bottles alone in the tailgating lots and inside the stadium during this game.
“The tailgaters were very excited this year,” Game Day Recycling intern, junior Erin Murphy, said. “People expected us to be there (this year) and were really happy to see us.”
Turf Director for Athletics, Abby McNeal, credits increased communication and education as game changers for the program this year. Season ticket holders received “Go Deacs! Go Green!” window decals with green tailgating tips before the season began, to get them excited about the program. The recycling message was also displayed on the new video board at the stadium at various points throughout games.
More extensive training of staff members and clearer labeling of recycling containers within the stadium helped staff members execute their tasks more easily and ensured that visitors received a consistent, clear message. Caitlin Brooks Edwards, Wake Forest Fellow, said. “If people focus on recycling cans and bottles (including plastic and glass) the process is simplified and we avoid confusion and contamination of the bins.”