University Business September 2017 - 32

Winning the Waste Game
dishwasher instead of a trash can and then
the landfill.
"The spread of zero waste-that's the
big thing," says Julian Dautremont-Smith,
director of programs for the Association
for the Advancement of Sustainability
in Higher Education (AASHE). "I think
you're going to start to see more and more
institutions embracing it as a way to engage fans and improve their sustainability
performance."
There is no foolproof game plan to defeat the waste demon. It comes down to
awareness-raising and relationship-building and rosters of all-star students with a
unique ability to engage with fans.
Zeroing in on zero waste
So-called zero-waste events aim to limit
garbage sent to the landfill to a mere 10
percent of disposed material, with the remaining 90 percent being recycled or composted. Administrators say the best way
to reduce game day waste is to reduce the
amount of disposable products that show
up in the stadium or arena in the first place.
Ohio University's teams eat pregame
meals on washable plates, not on plasticware that gets tossed into the garbage.

Green on game day:
Ideas beyond recycling
Arrange to donate leftover food.
Compost food waste, both
in the concession kitchens
and through fan-accessible
composting bins.
Host a fan collection event (for
items such as athletic shoes,
electronics, canned goods or
clothing).
Use LED lighting in your
stadium and arena.
Use environmentally friendly
cleaning materials.
Install bike racks to promote
bicycle commuting to the
venue.

32 | September 2017

FAN ASSIST-Student volunteers at Appalachian State help fans determine what
tossaway items are truly waste and what can instead be recycled or composted.
The university's zero waste stadium initiative launched in 2014.

Plates in the pressroom and VIP areas
are compostable. The drive even extends
to university-approved tailgating parties, where a couple of thousand students
gather before games, with refreshments
from university catering and outside vendors provided at no charge. They're set up
as "zero-waste events," says Andrew Ladd,
recycling and zero-waste manager at the institution. "Everything brought to the event
is recyclable or compostable."
Ohio's diversion rate (95.6 percent)
tied for first with Eastern Washington
University in that category of last year's
GameDay Recycling Challenge. The competition to reduce and recycle waste at
home football games launched in 2010.
Such initiatives require planning and
coordination. When Scott Buck arrived
at Eastern Washington as a waste management specialist and transportation supervisor in 2013, the green game day push
didn't go beyond the routine, he says. "We
set up recycling stations and hoped people
used them."
But a lot of waste was still being generated on game days.
The solution: Get a new commitment
from dining services to purchase only
products that are compostable or recyclable. The university also bought new collection systems for composting and recycling.

Sustainable students
College campuses are filled with one energetic source of labor with an almost builtin affinity for environmental advocacy:
their students. Institutions that sustainably
manage game days put them to good use.
For the GameDay Challenge tilt against
Alabama, the call for student volunteers
went out via social media channels, says
Sarah Temple, LSU's campus sustainability
manager. "We offered $200 for any group
that could bring at least 90 percent of their
members to help us." While only the rowing club met that challenge, several other
students stepped up to help.
Volunteer duties vary from campus to
campus. At some stadiums, students staff
waste stations to help fans determine if
their materials can be recycled or composted, or whether it's actually trash.
"If the folks coming to the stadium
don't understand the program or what goes
in which bin, it's going to break down,"
says AASHE's Dautremont-Smith. "Over
time, that knowledge builds, and the hope
is they perhaps start composting at home."
MORE ONLINE

Waste providers on game day
sustainability fumbles
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business September 2017

University Business September 2017 - Intro LOC
University Business September 2017 - Cover1
University Business September 2017 - Cover2
University Business September 2017 - 1
University Business September 2017 - 2
University Business September 2017 - 3
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University Business September 2017 - 58
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