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“Waste Not” proves to be a winning formula for Ohio State: BTN LiveBIG

Big Ten Network
By John Tolley

Image Source: Ohio State University. Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons, The Ohio State University

Image Source: Big Ten Network, Ohio State University. Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons, The Ohio State University

Ah, the sights and sounds of a college football game: the roar of cheering fans, the quarterback’s calls, the precision formation of that big brass band, the face paint, the foam fingers, the… garbage.

Yes, of course, for all the fun, live sporting events are a messy affair. At the end of the day, trashcans overflow with nacho trays and discarded programs, the seats and aisles are littered with peanut shells and sticky soda cups and the municipal dump groans under the weight of another heavy load.

But this common scenario could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a nationwide initiative called the GameDay Recycling Challenge. The program pits colleges and universities across the US against each other in an effort to see which school can reduce, recycle or otherwise divert the largest amount of their stadium waste away from landfills.

For the sixth consecutive year, The Ohio State University has led the Big Ten in the competition, diverting the largest single-game amount of waste in 2017 with 94.2 percent of stadium refuse kept out of the dump.

Speaking to the Ohio State news service, Tony Gillund, sustainability manager for Ohio State’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD), says that the GameDay Challenge is indicative of the Buckeyes’ larger commitment to reducing their ecological footprint.

“We are proud that the efforts of our zero-waste team continue to deliver positive results,” said Gillund. “Sustainability is a focus campus-wide as we work toward our university goals, including achieving zero waste on campus by 2025.”

At Ohio Stadium, a variety of steps, from maximizing compostable and recyclable materials used to installing zero waste stations, have been taken to ensure that the lowest amount of refuse possible is sent to area landfills. During games, 35 area high school students are employed to educate fans about how to properly dispose of their trash. Afterwards, the Ohio State Navy ROTC combs the stands collecting and sorting the detritus.

Read the full story.

Zero Waste at Michigan Stadium

Michigan Athletics

2017 Recap of Waste Diversion at Michigan Stadium

2018.02.14-Michigan Stadium Waste-IMAGE

Photo Source: Michigan Athletics

After joining a University of Michigan sustainability initiative in 2015, U-M Athletics reached the industry standard for zero waste with over a 90 percent diversion rate during the Rutgers game. For the season Michigan averaged a diversion rate of 88.17 percent.

2018.02.14-Michigan Stadium Waste-IMAGE

Image Source: Zero Waste at Michigan State

Game Day Efforts at Michigan Stadium

  • New Signage: In the summer of 2017, the U-M athletic department worked with the Office of Campus Sustainability on campus to create new signage that fit the Planet Blue branding staff and students see all across campus.
  • Compost: Nearly all food and beverage containers were compostable in 2017.
  • Recycling: Fans once again had the option to purchase souvenir concession items that were recyclable along with water bottles and plastic containers.

The new signage was placed on every waste win and on walls or posts throughout the concourse and inside the stadium suites to help educate fans on where to place their waste items.

A complete list of products and which category they fall under can be found here.

The waste totals for each game were based on waste collected inside the stadium gates only. Waste collected outside the stadium did not factor in to the yearly totals.

Where does the waste go?
Bags of waste are collected throughout the game and taken to dumpsters located in the corners of the stadium. On the Sunday mornings following each home game, a cleanup crew comes in and sorts the remaining waste items in the stadium bowl before it is all hauled off to centers for compost, recycling or landfill.

Sunday Morning Clean ups

Cleanup Crew: Over 400 volunteers from Father Gabriel Richard High School meet at Michigan Stadium. The volunteers check in and collect various items such as leafblowers, rakes, brooms and trash bags to clean the stadium bowl. Informational tables are set up on the concourse to educate the volunteers on which items are compostable, recyclable or landfill.

Read the full Photo Recap and Press Release.

MLB and Arizona State University to Launch Unique Sustainability Partnership Ahead of 2018 Spring Training Presented by Camping World

Major League Baseball
Initiatives include moving toward zero waste levels at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and examining waste diversion practices at all ten Cactus League ballparks

Major League Baseball and Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability (ASU) today announced a groundbreaking 2018 Spring Training presented by Camping World partnership that will see the two organizations undertaking sustainability efforts during parts of the Cactus League schedule.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Spring Training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, will be the focus site of the “Recycle Rally” initiative that will test and implement zero waste strategies with the overarching goals of reducing landfill impact, increasing operational efficiencies and improving the fan experience across all Cactus League ballparks. This new and unique partnership will launch tomorrow Wednesday, February 21st when the Arizona Diamondbacks host Arizona State University for a Spring Training exhibition game. Salt River Fields is expected to host nearly 300,000 fans over the course of the 2018 Spring Training presented by Camping World.

As part of the initiative, a group of eleven ASU undergraduate and graduate students will analyze the waste stream and operations at Salt River Fields to help the venue become more environmentally friendly. ASU will then determine how the D-backs and Rockies can minimize, and most effectively manage, waste, including adopting effective waste diversion practices at the ballpark through recycling, reusing and composting. Additionally, the partnership will engage fans during Spring Training games at Salt River Fields through a series of interactive and fun-focused activities that educate about the challenges and impacts of waste.

“The Arizona Diamondbacks are proud to call Salt River Fields home and are excited to partner with Arizona State University and Major League Baseball on this initiative,” said Arizona Diamondbacks President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We want do our part to ensure that future generations of D-backs fans can appreciate the beautiful Arizona landscape and will continue to focus on improving sustainability efforts throughout Spring Training and all season long at Chase Field.”

“The Rockies continue to put a strong emphasis on sustainability at Coors Field, so we are very proud that this partnership with ASU and MLB will educate us and further minimize the environmental impact of the entire Salt River Fields complex, making an already LEED Gold Certified facility even better,” said Colorado Rockies Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Feasel.

While Salt River Fields will be the initial focus of the initiative, MLB and ASU will work with individual Clubs to incorporate a snapshot-level analysis for all Cactus League ballparks in 2018. The groups will visit each of the 10 Cactus League ballparks at least once during Spring Training for high-level analysis, documentation of current waste systems, and recommending opportunities for improvement.

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