Zero waste initiative to kick off at next football game

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The Sustainable Community Development Initiative, Campus Dining, Athletics Department and Facilities Services are teaming together to create a zero waste environment at football games.

The Zero Waste Initiative, which aims to divert materials from the waste stream, will kick off during the Homecoming football game against Northwood University on October 20.

Bart Bartels, project manager for SCDI, said the Student Environmental Coalition began collecting compostable and recycleable items at football games last year. “We began noticing that people were starting to look for recycle bins,” he said.

At one game, students collected more than 1,800 cans and bottles, 10 large bags full of plastic bottles and more than 200 pizza boxes.

Bartels said there are more than 100 students who want to help with the new Zero Waste Initiative this year. Students from the Honors College, Campus Dining, Women’s Center, Student Environmental Coalition, Meijer Holland Campus and Office of Student Life will assist with educating fans about compostable and recycleable items, and gather materials during the game.

Recycle and compost bins will be located throughout campus at tailgating parking lots, at entrances to Lubbers Stadium and near seating inside the stadium.

“Getting to zero waste is a goal, not an expectation,” said Steve Leeser, operations supervisor for Facilities Services. “Right now we’re focusing on educating people about the importance of recycling and composting.”

Learn more about Grand Valley’s recycling program here.