Saturday, September 14, 2013

Being Green in 2013: Week 15

The Game Plan
Recycling at the Big House and beyond

According to
"Our goal is for everyone involved in Michigan Athletics to be an active recycler, including our fans, coaches, student-athletes and staff. Through signage, more containers and education, we are confident we can significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills."
Football season is in full swing and U-M Recycling is working hard to make sure everyone recycles at the Big House. At the August 31st game against Central Michigan University, fans recycled more than 5 tons of material and over 6.5 tons of recyclables were collected at the September 7th game against Notre Dame! A total of 25% of total waste was recycled at our first home game of the season and 21% at the second. Michigan Athletics has set the goal of at least a 50% recycling rate at all its locations, so Michigan football fans better step up their recycling game!
This year, Michigan Stadium is kicking off its first composting program. Back-of-house concessions will start composting food waste, and plans are in the works to improve the overall recycling and waste diversion program at Michigan Stadium. 
Last year, students at the Erb Institute published a feasibility study of Zero-Waste at the Big House. Click here to view a copy of the report.
What are other schools doing?

This year, 12 schools including Central Michigan University and Ohio State University are participating in the 2013 Game Day Recycling Challenge. The Game Day Challenge is a competition held by a partnership between the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), RecycleMania, and Keep America Beautiful (KAB). Colleges and universities track and report waste reduction and disposal data from football games and are then ranked based on this data. Last year, Earlham College ranked 1st in the category of Waste Reduction with 0.029 lbs/person of waste at their football stadium. Franklin College ranked 1st in the per capita Recycling category with 1.000 lbs/person of recyclables. Ohio State came in 1st in the Waste Diversion category, with a 98.2% diversion rate...woah. 

The University of Michigan does not participate in the Game Day Challenge due to Michigan's 10-cent deposit on many bottles and cans.  This deposit brings can collectors to Michigan Stadium each game, preventing the University from gathering data that can be accurately compared with other schools.

The Green Sports Alliance is another organization involved in enhancing sustainability and encouraging waste reduction for collegiate and professional sports organizations.The Alliance holds workshops, industry roundtables, keynotes, panels, and tours, and promotes networking and innovative solutions to help green the sports industry. Over 40 teams and nearly 90 venues now participate in the Green Sports Alliance.

What's next for recycling at Michigan Stadium? The Erb Institute study concludes that with careful planning and management, the Big House can be transformed into a zero-waste facility. Are our Leaders & Best up for the challenge?

No comments:

Post a Comment