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Blog Archives

“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.

Sailors for the Sea and Oceana Plan to Join Forces

Sailors for the Sea

David Rockefeller Jr, joins Oceana’s board, Sailors for the Sea board to join Oceana’s Ocean Council

Oceana will continue to build constituency for the seas among 12 million recreational boaters

SFTS_Full-Color-Logo

NEWPORT, RI and WASHINGTON, DC –  Sailors for the Sea, the leading ocean conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community, and Oceana, the world’s largest international conservation organization focused solely on protecting and restoring the world’s oceans, announced today they are joining forces.

“Our board, staff and all of us are so pleased to be joining Oceana’s team, “said Sailors for the Sea co-founder David Rockefeller, Jr. “This will strengthen our ability to help sailors and power boaters make a difference in saving the oceans they depend on.”

Oceana will continue the legacy of Sailors for the Sea through engaging the nearly 12 million strong recreational boating community on ocean conservation and will seek to unite a core constituency of sailors and boaters whose support will help win victories that will help to save the world’s oceans.

“Sailors and recreational boaters are highly credible ocean leaders,” said Oceana CEO Andrew F. Sharpless. “Sailors for the Sea will now help us reach them in in ways that will prove truly beneficial for Oceana’s conservation campaigns.”

The two entities’ boards of directors, following an effort initiated by Oceana, unanimously approved the plan to combine. Sailors for the Sea will file a petition with the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Supreme Judicial Court for approval of the combination under Massachusetts law.  In the meantime, David Rockefeller, Jr. has joined Oceana’s Board of Directors and Sailors for the Sea board members have been invited to join Oceana’s Ocean Council.

Read the full story.

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