Clubs team up to remove recyclable refuse leftover from football games
Campus groups pick up recyclable trash after home football games
With football games come indulgences like nachos, hot dogs and kettle corn, and with these indulgences come thirst and a lot of trash.
To help alleviate the copious amounts of waste, an intern for Students for Sustainability, a program by the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, started Greening the Game last year. After every home football game, the project’s interns and volunteers spend an hour collecting water bottles and paper. Once the water bottles and pamphlets are collected in plastic bags, Facilities Management picks up the bags and recycles them.
After the game against Northern Arizona University on Sept. 3, 25 people collected approximately 1,050 water bottles, said Natalie Lucas, executive program director for Students for Sustainability.
Anyone interested in volunteering can, but in order to ensure participants, Students for Sustainability collaborated with students from the Arizona Model United Nations club.
The Model U.N. students come to games and clean up as part as their club fundraising efforts. Part of the funds raised from the post-game cleanups will help the Model U.N. club go to Chicago for its annual conference, said Lucas, a junior studying environmental sciences and philosophy, politics, economics and law.
Michele MacMillan, administrative director of Students for Sustainability and a political science senior, said they tried to enact the project last year, but were not able to get recycling bins into the stadium. They then decided to work with the Model U.N. club to help pick up water bottles after the game.
MacMillan also said that even though Facilities Management made efforts to add recycling bins in the stadium, it’s a long process that requires approval from different areas and a party to finance the project.
“I wouldn’t say that the trash system is bad, I would just say that we’re trying to modify it and improve it because there are no recycling bins in the stadium currently, which doesn’t give students the ability to recycle even they want to,” MacMillan said.
Cleaning up after the games as a club makes the task more enjoyable, said Lucas, because she gets to meet new people and work with another club.
“It’s pretty cool to work with them (Model U.N.),” she said.
Greening the Game hopes to have a reminder on the screen telling game-goers to recycle, but not until there are bins placed inside the stadium, according to MacMillan.
Students for Sustainability is currently working on another recycling project that involves studying the types of recycling bins on campus, what the bins look like and where they are placed throughout campus. Lucas said the goal of their new project is to be able to “strategically place” bins so students can recycle more.
“Around campus, a lot of trash cans don’t have bins right next to it, and then people don’t look for the (recycling) bin,” Lucas said.
The club will also study recycling “signage” to see what logos are most effective for students to know how to recycle.
“We’re making an initiative this year to really prove that we’re on the right track and working toward this,” MacMillan added.