The first home football game of the season on September 10 kicked off the second season of the university’s Game Day Recycling program. By helping distribute recycling bins to tailgaters and encouraging fans to do the right thing, students, staff and faculty continue to support Deacon fans in diverting thousands of pounds of waste from landfills.
Junior Erin Murphy, this year’s Game Day Recycling intern who coordinates the efforts of program volunteers, decided to become more involved after volunteering with the program her sophomore year. “I had a great time interfacing with fans,” she said. “And it was a fun way to enjoy game day. I felt like the program was really making a difference in waste reduction at our tailgates.”
With strategically placed recycling bins to collect recyclable cans and bottles, program organizers strive to make it as easy as possible for fans to recycle. A tent near the Bridger Field House serves as the Game Day Recycling headquarters. From the main tent, receptacles specially outfitted with circular openings are wheeled out to the gold, blue, and red lots to tailgate tents. Meanwhile, smaller groups of tailgaters can pick up clear plastic bags to dispose of their recyclables. Fans should look for the “Go Deacs — Go Green” logo that marks bins designated for cans and bottles.
Murphy aims to increase the amount of recyclables collected this year and to involve even more Deacon fans with the program. She said the program will be adapted to accommodate changes made to the layout of the tailgating concourse. “We have added more recycling bins to the program, and included more receptacles in the stadium as well,” Murphy said.
The program is made possible through the combined efforts of Athletic Department staff members, the Office of Sustainability, and student volunteers. Director of Facilities for Athletics, Chris Stilley, and Director of Turf Management, Abby McNeal, have worked to ensure the success of the program in preparation for its second season. Jim Carlin and Dean Jarvis of the Athletic Department have also been instrumental in implementing the collection program. Great Outdoor Provision Company has generously co-sponsored the “Green Team” volunteer t-shirts and “Go Deacs — Go Green” fan koozies for the second consecutive year.
This year, notice of the program went out to all season ticket holders by way of a printed postcard with game day recycling instructions on one side and a “Go Deacs — Go Green” window cling on the other. Many fans responded by visiting the headquarters tent during the first home game to thank organizers for providing more outlets for recycling and to pick up supplies. Former sustainability intern and current Wake Forest Sustainability Fellow, Caitlin Brooks, is supporting the program from the staff side this year. “Fans expect to find opportunities to recycle their waste wherever they go. We’re pleased to try to help meet their needs.”
By Jane Connors, Communications and Outreach Intern