By Joan Hicken.
College sports are making a commitment to greener practices as part of the growing sports sustainability movement. They support campus-wide environmental goals, provide a platform for environmental education, and signal Auburn University’s commitment to sustainability. Sustainability in sports helps connect the university to its students, staff, faculty, alumni, fans, supporters and visitors with a shared commitment to the principal aspects of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
Gameday recycling is an opportunity for the university to demonstrate to the campus community that recycling and waste reduction activities are not limited to the home. Sporting events generate a large amount of waste, much of which can be recycled. Our goal is to become the number one recycler in the SEC!
Waste Reduction and Recycling Department staff place over 500 recycling bins inside Jordan-Hare Stadium and around campus for fans to recycle their plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Before kick-off, student volunteers interact with tailgaters, passing out bags in tailgate areas to collect plastic bottles and aluminum cans for recycling.
Fans are encouraged to recycle with the “Get Caught Recycling” program. At each home game, one person/tailgate is caught recycling and receives a signed football by the head football coach. Another fan is caught recycling and receives a gift card. Both are acknowledged during the game with recognition on the video board.
Improve the Gameday Recycling Program by familiarizing yourself with what items are accepted for recycling. Plastic bottles and aluminum cans are acceptable, while glass bottles are not. You can also waste less by greening your tailgate using reusable items like cups, utensils, plates and tablecloths.
Make gamedays more sustainable with a few simple actions:
- Ditch the disposables and choose reusable tailgate supplies
- Bring a reusable water bottle to the game and use refill stations in the stadium
- Recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans
- Ride Tiger Transit or carpool with others
- Clean up tailgate areas after the game
Post contributed by Joan Hicken, Manager, Waste Reduction and Recycling Department, Facilities Management
Learn about the SDGs & AU and our contributions related to this post.