The 2010 home football season saw many exciting changes for the University of Washington’s Intercollegiate Athletics department (ICA) and Husky Stadium, including the creation of its first “Green Team”. The Green Team, in partnership with UW Recycling, rolled out many new waste diversion initiatives for the season: a green logo, an in-game recycling promotion, public area composting, and participation in a national waste diversion challenge.
The new logo – Go Purple. Be Gold & Green. – was stickered on all stadium recycling carts and used on buttons and t-shirts for outreach volunteers. The in-game promotion, the “Green Minute”, took place at home games following the third quarter recycling public service announcement (PSA). The PSA instructed fans to hand their recyclable beverage bottles to ushers who were staged at the end of each aisle during the Green Minute. Ushers also directed fans to use the new compost bins on the concourse for their food waste and compostable serviceware items.
Composting was expanded to public areas with the placement of 64-gallon compost carts on the stadium concourse, one next to every garbage and recycling bin. UW Recycling worked closely with stadium vendors to help them purchase the required compostable packaging and serviceware items. UW Recycling also designed custom posters for the stadium that showed actual items sold at food stands and their appropriate end-of-use waste stream: compost, garbage, or recycling.
The Blue Bag Recycling Outreach program continued in tailgating areas with volunteers from the Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office, Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED), and Earth Club distributing approximately 2,500 blue recycling bags to tailgating fans. Plastic cups were accepted as part of the “all-in-one” recycling stream in 2010.
Post-game stadium cleanup, “picking the bowl”, was expanded to include collection of compostables in addition to recyclables. The few remaining materials, including candy wrappers, chip bags, and other non-compostable packaging items, were disposed of as garbage. UW Recycling is looking forward to future collaboration with ICA once the new stadium opens.
For the 2010 home football season, ICA reached an overall diversion rate of 42%, which includes the stadium, tailgating areas, and pre-game events.