Deacon fans young and old have something new to cheer about at this season’s home football games. Tailgaters in the Gold, Blue, Red, and Green lots recycled more than 1000 pounds of cans and bottles at the two opening home games, as part of the university’s new Game Day Recycling program.
Jenny King, the office of sustainability Game Day Recycling intern worked throughout the summer to ensure a successful roll-out of the program on September 2. New students enrolled in the SPARC and Sustainability in Action programs donated their time before orientation to convert unused black trash and recycling cans into bins suitable for the tailgating areas of BB&T Stadium. They drilled can-sized holes in the tops of the bins and painted a gold ring around these holes. The bins are latched to discourage contamination and stickers remind fans to deposit only cans and bottles.
These large containers are wheeled out to tailgating tents throughout the parking lots. Smaller tailgating locations receive clear plastic bags for their collection. Brand new green recycling cans are placed around the entrances of the stadium to catch can and bottle waste from drinks not allowed within the stadium gates. The Game Day Recycling program encourages recycling of cans and bottles, but is not set up for the collection of paper.
All materials are collected right before kick-off by Athletic Department staff members. Director of Facilities Chris Stilley and Director of Turf Management Abby McNeal have been instrumental in the successful roll-out of the program. The collection program would not be possible without the assistance of Athletic Department stalwarts Jim Carlin and Dean Jarvis.
This program is powered by volunteers and the interns from the Office of Sustainability. The program rewards volunteers with a small amount of money based on the number of hours worked. This money is given to a student organization of the volunteer’s choice. The more volunteers from an organization and the more hours volunteered the more money that organization receives. The popular “Green Team” volunteer t-shirts and “Go Deacs Go Green” koozies for the fans were generously sponsored by the Great Outdoor Provision Company.
The tailgate collection program supplements the existing collection programs inside the stadium concourse and in the luxury suites.
By Caitlin Brooks, Communications and Outreach Intern