A group of students from Students for Sustainability, Greening the Game and Green Team traveled to Arizona State University to tour the school’s newly renovated Sun Devil Stadium and learn about its Zero Waste initiatives Thursday night.
The tour, led by ASU’s Alana Levine, recycling program manager, took the group through the different levels of the stadium as well as the “back-of-the-house” area where waste materials were sent off.
This visit took place during ASU’s home football game against the University of Utah, which ASU had chosen as its reporting game for the Green Sports Alliance’s competition with the Pac-12 Conference. This challenge ranks schools based on outreach, collaboration and diversion rate, or the amount of material diverted from the landfill.
The group of UA students went to ASU to get a different perspective, according to Julia Rudnick, the UA coordinator of campus sustainability programs who attended the trip with the students.
Rudnick said ASU’s sustainability efforts were “amazing” and that she’s “highly impressed.”
According to Levine, who works with the Zero Waste department, all ASU athletic venues, and in turn all the ASU games held in said venues, are public-facing zero-waste, meaning that the goal is to divert material from the landfill. Everything served to the public is compostable or recyclable. This is possible because of ASU’s Zero Waste department’s partnerships with custodial staff and concessions providers.
With a recent stadium renovation, Sun Devil Stadium’s diversion rate hovers around 50 percent, while at other venues, the diversion rate is 70-80 percent according to Levine.
“Once we’re done with all the phases [of renovation] in the stadium, we’re going to be able to achieve those really regular high diversion rates,” Levine said.