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F&S Website: First-Ever Illini Football Tailgate Recycling Event

Posted by Daphne Hulse on September 26, 2023

First-Ever Illini Football Tailgate Recycling Event

Sep 19, 2023 | 10:12 am

New orange and blue recycling boxes and a green dumpster will be available for fans near Memorial Stadium

Illinois Football takes on Florida Atlantic University (FAU) on Saturday, September 23, at Memorial Stadium. Before the non-conference game, several orange and blue recycling boxes and a bright green dumpster will be available to help Fighting Illini fans recycle bottles and cans, which will prevent more items from reaching the landfill.

Individuals in RVs or vehicles entering Lot 31 and Lot 32 will be given blue bags to use to drop off empty bottles and cans at the utility-sized recycling dumpster on the east side of Lot 31, along South First Street. Plastic bottles and aluminum cans and bottles may also be placed by fans into boxes within Grange Grove and around the Illinois Tent in Lot 31. Items may also be thrown in the dumpster.

This first-of-its-kind Tailgate Recycling event on the Urbana campus is a part of the Don’t Waste initiative. Coca-Cola; the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics; the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment; and Facilities & Services are partnering to reduce waste at major campus events and support reaching zero waste goals. Approximately 10 volunteers will wear “Be Orange, Go Green” shirts and will be ready to assist the recycling efforts.

Zero Waste Coordinator Daphne Hulse said, “Illini fans support their team and university like no other. The new Block I–wrapped recycling bins and marked dumpsters for the FAU game will allow tailgaters in these areas to easily recycle bottles and cans and add to the number of pounds of materials diverted from the landfill on our recycling scoreboard.

The new recycling boxes will stay in place for all remaining Illini home games. The next recycling event with volunteers will be Saturday, November 11, when Indiana University visits Champaign.

This year, Don’t Waste has achieved the following milestones:

  • With student volunteers’ help during the basketball season, Illini fans collected a State Farm Center basketball gameday record of 1,280 pounds of recyclables in March.
  • Two hydration stations were installed at Memorial Stadium this summer to encourage the use of reusable water bottles during Illini games.
  • An additional 140 pounds of plastic was diverted from the New Student Convocation event in August.

Establishing a zero waste culture at the U of I is a top sustainability objective of the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). The iCAP is the university’s strategic plan to meet the Climate Leadership Commitments, including becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible and building resilience to climate change in the local community. The data collected from these engagement efforts will guide future recycling infrastructure improvements in university facilities and be used to establish best practices for implementing sustainable habits at campuswide gatherings and unit-level events.

For more information about general campus waste management (how that works/what is recycled) and iCAP progress, contact Daphne Hulse, 217-333-7550. And keep watching for social media updates and campus recycling reminders on #DontWasteWednesday.