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Projects Updates for Tailgate Recycling

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  1. First Tailgate Recycling Event on 23rd September 2023

    Associated Project(s): 

    The first tailgate recycling event was conducted on September 23rd, 2023. We collected 1,000 pounds of recyclables using our blue bag distribution system, which is a wonderful number to build off of. Staff members, along with volunteers and interns, shared recycling information with tailgaters and encouraged them to recycle. Illini t-shirts were offered as rewards to those that segregated and recycled their waste effectively.



    In the 2022 football season, 228,520 pounds of trash was picked up from college football (including high school playoffs). The Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste initiative began with the understanding that our efforts to engage a community-wide audience on the issue of waste would be best executed through high-visibility athletic venues. Events with tens of thousands of visitors produce a sizable quantity of waste. Athletic events are also unique in that not only are we hosting students, faculty, and staff from our own university, but also rivals from other schools and visitors from across the state and country.


    We have made a commitment through our iCAP to set the tone that we recycle not only in our campus facilities, but also our events.



    Holding events such as tailgate recycling also allows us to view tailgate waste management through a boots-on-the-ground approach: where is waste produced, how is it produced, what is produced, and how can we divert it towards recycling as opposed to the landfill? We can then take our lessons learned and determine how best to integrate the approach within existing operations. The goal is to provide the necessary infrastructure and resources in a convenient manner, so that the act of recycling becomes a natural habit to tailgaters.


  2. WCIA: Illini football prevents waste with first tailgate recycling event

    Link to article, published on September 22, 2023

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Saturday will mark the very first time Illini Football will host a tailgate recycling event with the “Zero Waste Tailgate.”

    The event will be part of the University of Illinois’ Don’t Waste initiative. There will be orange and blue-colored recycling boxes and a bright green dumpster to throw bottles and cans away. Helpers will be of assistance and can be identified by shirts reading, “Be Orange, Go Green.”

    Green dumpsters will be placed on the east end of Lot 31 and South First Street. Boxes will be placed throughout Grange Grove and around the Illinois tent in Lot 31.

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

    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.

  4. News Channel 20: University of Illinois promotes recycling at football game with 'Zero Waste Tailgate

    Link to article, released on September 24, 2023

    As guests returned to Memorial Stadium this afternoon for u of i's home game against florida atlantic university, Facilities and Services Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pushed for a cleaner environment with the help of fans.

    It hosted Zero Waste Tailgate to encourage guests to toss bottles, cans, and other recyclable goodsby giving them blue bags and placing a large green dumpster near the stadium.

    Zero Waste Coordinator, Daphne Hulse believes those items being provided makes it easier to reduce landfill.

    Working at a large scale event like this with high visibility, is a great way not only to engage students, faculty and staff. But also community members that come here for these tailgate events." Hulse said. "Collectively we can work towards reducing that landfilled waste.

    The next recycle event will be on November 11th at the stadium for u of i's home game against Indiana University.

  5. Green rolloff for recycling arrives!

    It's here, it's here, it's finally here. Waste Transfer Station purchased a new green rolloff container specifically for recycling. We expect to use it for tailgate recycling, welcome week, and any other event that produces an excess of recycling or would benefit from a container dedicated to recyclables.

  6. Coca-Cola bin updates for Welcome Celebration and Tailgate Recycling

    From: Hulse, Daphne Lauren
    Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2023 8:51 AM
    To: Etchison, Thurman B <>
    Subject: Welcome Celebration recycling update


    Hi Thurman,


    Quick update on the recycling efforts for this coming Friday – good news first: we should have a good turnout of student volunteers for this event.


    The complicated news: the 20 Coca-Cola bins did arrive just a few days ago, but they are unfortunately going to require some F&S modifications before they can be put to use. They’re extra sturdy (bolted down to the pallets) which is great for outdoor events, but they do not currently have any openings to put recycling in and dump it out (see picture below). We expect we’ll have to saw open the plastic top, and then they’ll be a useable bin. Coke finished designs on the wrap that will be placed over top of the bins (attached), so they have some messaging on them when we’re ready to put them to use.


    As a quick solution, we have 24-26 bottles/cans recycling bins that we can line with blue bags and put to use (picture below). It unfortunately won’t have the great messaging that the Coke bins would have, but we will have the volunteers there to help manage. Not as sturdy as our new bins will be, but I expect better than the bins that were used last year that blew around. F&S will be bringing these over to Lot 31 on Friday when they’re bringing the tables and chairs, so our volunteers can line these with blue bags and place them nearby the trash bins.


    Thank you,


    Daphne Hulse (she/her)
    Zero Waste Coordinator
    Facilities & Services | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    +1 (217) 333-7550 |

    Please consider the environment before printing an email. Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act any written communication to or from university employees regarding university business is a public record and may be subject to public disclosure.

  7. 8-7-23 overview of F&S-specific logistics for tailgate recycling program

    Attendance: Shawn Patterson, Dan Hiser, Daphne Hulse

    1. Overview of the tailgate parking map
      1. Planning to execute two tailgate recycling events this semester:
        1. An early game in September, using one roll-off dumpster in Lot 31.
        2. A later game in October or November, potentially expanding to a second roll-off dumpster in Lot 32 (E-14).
      2. All dumpsters will always be staffed by volunteers. A F&S Safety & Compliance tent will be used for the September game.
      3. All dumpsters used will have banners to identify recycling only, as well as yard signs to discourage them from becoming general trash sites.
      4. Dan noted that Lot 31, Lot 32, Lot 33, and Lot 49 are some of the busiest to keep in mind for the future.
    2. Blue bags
      1. DIA parking lot supervisors will hand out blue bags.
      2. F&S will provide the blue bags, with information stapled to each.
      3. What will happen to all the bags left at lots where tailgaters did not drop them off at the roll-off dumpsters?
        1. Blue barrels line all the tailgating lots. They may end up heree.
        2. The F&S frontload truck on Sunday morning pick-up may grab them.
        3. The DIA flat-bed stake truck may pick them up.
        4. In any case, all blue bags will make their way to the south bay of the Waste Transfer Station.
    3. Waste operation from Dan's perspective - Sunday morning
      1. 2 frontload trucks (holding 3yd dumpsters) will have two people walking in front, dumping blue barrels
      2. 1 roll-off truck, that goes to dump the 2 roll-offs at the corner of the horseshoe. Places a new empty roll-off on the east side of Memorial Stadium. Tippers inside Memorial Stadium drop off inside trash into the empty roll-off. This process moves to the west side of Memorial Stadium.
      3. Green recycle truck goes with a crew of two people who tip the blue barrels, just as the frontload does (the teams split all the work).
      4. DIA has a flat-bed stake truck used to pick up the blue barrels.
      5. DSC does not work on weekends, so all trash is put into the south bay, and dealt with on Monday morning (in addition to campus' usual trash on Monday). Because of this, not all of the recycling is going to get sorted out. It's too much to deal with at once. They do their best!
    4. Grange Grove
      1. 20 Coca-Cola bins placed here, near entrances to Memorial Stadium. Can have volunteers here who are engaging with passers-by and encouraging them to recycle.
      2. Dan, Shawn, and Daphne will see the bins on Friday 8/11 when they are delivered and determine the best course to dumping them when they are full. Don't know how this will happen currently, as these bins are not tied to a truck type that F&S has. May consult the DIA for assistance.
  8. 7-24-23 Internal Meeting

    On July 24, 2023 UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:

    Attendance: Bryan Johnson, Pete Varney, Julie Wurth, Steve Breitwieser, Marty Kaufmann, Daphne Hulse

    1. Football
      1. Tailgating
        1. Operation
          1. F&S staples recycling information + map to blue bags
          2. Parking supervisors will hand out the blue bags
          3. 2 dumpsters placed (Lot 31, Lot 32). Blue bags collected here
          4. Grange Grove/entrances to Memorial Stadium: Coca-Cola bins to collect loose bottles and cans
        2. Plan for one of the earlier games (Sep)
        3. Assess how first game went, revise for a later game (Oct/Nov)
        4. Post-season: assess, revise for next season
      2. Communication
        1. DIA gameday emails will include messaging about tailgate recycling
        2. Game script will call out hydration stations
        3. F&S – send campus-wide announcement (as was done for Dump and Run)?
        4. iSEE – newsletter?
      3. To do
        1. F&S scope out where the 2 dumpsters could be placed, confirm with DIA
        2. Determine placement of Coca-Cola bins: DIA recommends the 20 Coca-Cola bins are placed in Grange Grove/on the way into the stadium (portal 1 and 2)
        3. Staff recycling dumpsters to prevent them from becoming trash sites
          1. F&S may have a tent that can be used – check with Safety & Compliance
          2. iSEE does not have a tent
          3. F&S – print banners to hang on dumpsters?
            1. Green dumpster will be marked, ask Shawn Patterson
    2. Welcome Week Lunch
      1. 7 student volunteers gathered + 2 F&S staff
    3. Volunteer / giveaway t-shirts
      1. 200 green volunteer shirts – for Welcome Week, Tailgating, and other small events that may arise
      2. 300 orange giveaway shirts – for Tailgate Recycling
        1. Incentivize tailgaters to drop off their blue recycling bags
    4. Coca-Cola bins
      1. Metal framing is expected to arrive Friday 8/11
      2. Wrap renderings are being finalized, discussing on Wednesday with Jake
    5. iSEE – hydration station map live
      2. iSEE developing a video highlighting campus hydration stations for new student convocation


  9. New outdoor bins scheduled to arrive 8/11

    From: Sarah Carten <>
    Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2023 9:15 AM
    To: Hulse, Daphne Lauren <>; Jake Slager <>
    Cc: Liz Doeschot <>
    Subject: RE: Rvat Containers


    Hello Daphne.  We are going to schedule to delivery the containers on 8/11 between 8am – 2pm.  If something changes and you want sooner, just let me know.  Thank you.



  10. 7-19-23 Sustainability Meeting with key DIA contacts

    Attendance: Jen Fraterrigo, Daphne Hulse, Marty Kaufmann, Zach Acton, Tim Knox


    1. Quick recap of past accomplishments and opportunities (Jen)
    2. Messaging about bringing reusable bottles into facilities (Jen), internal/external
      1. Zach and Marty commented that they are currently working on their game day website, and they will be updating their messaging regarding water bottles during this process/get an updated image for the clear bag policy.
      2. Tim and Zach are pushing for gate attendance to accurately assess water bottles at games (and work on not refusing the bottles that are accepted according to the policy).
    3. Selling reusable bottles at games/events and status of hydration stations (Jen)
      1. The Soybean Association handed out free water bottles at a game. DIA has no issue with this concept. Usually it is easiest to find a sponsor who can help with the purchasing.
      2. Game Day Spirit is the merchandise company.
      3. Huff Hall - DIA controls only Room 100, so any hydration stations would need to be funded by the state-supported facility.
      4. DIA noted that during softball the Monster water stations were a big hit. The DIA would look into where else the Monsters can be used.
    4. Messaging during games (Jen)
      1. It is easiest to provide content to DIA that can be disseminated with a social media focus, or through the game day script itself.
      2. Hydration stations can be highlighted in the script with a customer service/health & safety focus. It is easier to promote things when they fall under these categories.
      3. In the pre-game emails sent to ticketholders, we can also put content in here (we're not sure how many people really read through all the info provided in these emails, but it is another outlet).
        1. There are thousands of tailgaters who come only for the tailgating and will not attend the game, so they won't see this information necessarily.
      4. Zach noted that during game day press releases, DIA can give call outs to new stuff, so this may be another outlet.
    5. Recycling bins at SFC (Daphne)
      1. Recapped the two zero waste games held at State Farm Center, and the need for recycling on the upper concourse.
      2. The recommendation transmitted from the iWG was originally sent to the DIA, but State Farm Center is owned by both the DIA and Student Affairs (Lowa). Jen noted that the recommendation may need to be sent to Lowa, too.
      3. Marty has monthly meetings with Lowa, and will bring this up for conversation with him.
    6. Tailgating plans (Daphne)
      • How many and which home games to focus on
      • Locations for dumpsters where bags will be collected (2 lots?)
        • DIA expects that walking the bags to the collection sites may be too much of an expectation for tailgaters. We'll have to test it and see.
        • Volunteers picking up blue bags left behind in lots may be good.
        • DIA is concerned that the dumpsters will become general trash piles, unless they are otherwise noted.
          • (F&S will be providing banners for the dumpsters, and all dumpsters will be staffed with volunteers to avoid this pitfall)
      • Confirm that parking lot/gate attendants will hand out blue bags
        • Confirmed. The parking lot supervisors will assist with this task.
      • Locations for 20 bins from Coke for unbagged recyclables
        • North side of Grange Grove is predominantly students, and this would be a great area to place the bins.
        • Portal 1 and Portal 2 on the west side of Memorial Stadium are the busiest entrances for games, so the bins in this area is great, too.
      • Connecting with volunteer groups who clean up after games
        • Did not get to this topic in the conversation, was sent as a follow up in email.
      • Incentivizing volunteer participation
        • Did not get to this topic in the conversation, was sent as a follow up in email.
  11. 6-28-23 External Meeting

    Attendance: Jake Slager, Shawn Patterson, Thurman Etchison, Jen Fraterrigo, Steve Breitwieser, Travis Tate, Shreya Mahajan, Daphne Hulse

    Coke Updates:

    • Jake is now officially solely focused on colleges and universities
    • RVAT totes
      • Nothing charged for totes or for transportation
      • Chloroplast wrap and cut-outs are about $150 each x 20 = $3,000 (probably does not include transportation)
      • Keep these recycling only
      • 2-3 weeks lead time for wrap
      • Coca-Cola has the rendering for royal blue. Can make tweaks and changes
      • Couple $100 to edit or change the wrap design
      • Daphne’s to-do: Update QR code for new website
      • Make sure bins have clear messaging just for “bottles and cans”
      • These bins would be used for tailgating near to Memorial Stadium, ideally

    Reusable Cups/Bottles

    • Coke is supportive of reusable cups
      • Yeti sponsors for reusable cups
    • Making an effort to push sustainability early in the college processes
      • Encourage use of reusable bottles
      • Use tap water from filler stations
      • Cut back on waste
      • Where there are purchases, ensure that the recycling bin is used
      • Ohio State’s effort with reusable bottles has been mixed success (MyCup program)
      • Indiana did something similar. It was costly and mixed results there, too
        • Jake will get more plugged in on these programs at different schools


      • 100th year of Memorial Stadium
        • Ohio State did something similar with their 100th year
        • Sustainability can be incorporated in here, too

    Engagement opportunities

      • GoGreen - Eric Green - not a large sample size
        • Jake talked with David Watson, who is in contact with Eric
        • Shreya’s experience as a student: without the incentive behind it, it’s not going to encourage students to regularly use it
      • Looking into Rockwire Illinois App to see how we can encourage plastic reduction

    Welcome Week

    • T-shirts
      • Mid July get the quantities for the welcome week
      • Orange shirt may fit well with giveaway items for tailgating

    Bigger Conversations

    • Path forward - Be Orange Go Green, Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste, Don’t Waste
      • How do we differentiate, make it clear to the public what is what?
      • Is tailgating a fighting illini, fighting waste event?


  12. 6-1-23 External Meeting

    On June 1, 2023 UIUC representatives and Coca-Cola met to discuss the following:

    Attendance: Naveen Baarla, Jen Fraterrigo, Jake Slager, Marty Kaufmann, Shreya Mahajan, Sarah Carten, Travis Tate

    • Recycling Value Assessment - Tour

      • UIUC recognized as a best in class MRF

    • Upcoming events:

      • Welcome Week Lunch

        • Friday, August 18 Lot 31

        • After State Farm Center convocation

      • Move in week

      • Tailgate recycling (near memorial stadium)

    • Rvat

      • Bottles and cans collector

      • 4’ tall flag pole

      • 48w x 40d x 41h

      • Don’t Waste messaging

      • Could work well with lunch and tailgate recycling (near the collection sites, not near memorial stadium)

      • Tested at Kentucky Derby, test sites at retail stores

        • Jake has a follow up with the Derby tomorrow and will see how the vat use was received

      • Aluminum and steel, chloroplast material. can put a weight down to ensure that it doesn’t blow away

      • On a pallet

    • Competitive bin options

      • Could be near the memorial stadium entrances

      • Could brand it with DIA sports, football

  13. Tailgate Recycling Update

    The Zero Waste iCAP Team submitted ZW010: Tailgate Recycling to the iWG on March 22, 2023. On April 19, 2023, the iWG transmitted the approved recommendation to the DIA and F&S leaders, Josh Whitman and Ehab Kamarah.

  14. 5-1-23 Internal Meeting

    On May 1, UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:


    Attendance: Julie Wurth, Marty Kaufmann, Shawn Patterson, Thurman Etchison, Bryan Johnson, Steve Breitwieser, Jen Fraterrigo, Daphne Hulse


    • External meeting with Coca-Cola canceled last week

      • Daphne to meet with Jake Slager Wednesday to discuss:

        • Heavy-duty bins to replace ‘cardboard’ bins for outdoor events (Welcome Week).

        • Football tailgate recycling plan. Make this a Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste expansion.

        • UIUC Materials Recovery Facility - Detroit Airport (DTW) wants to hear about UIUC operations.

    • Dump & Run

      • F&S and Housing communications

      • iSEE communications

  15. Zero Waste iCAP Meeting 3/10/2023

    On January 30th, the Zero Waste iCAP team met to discuss final thoughts on the finished tailgate recycling recommendation, the feasibility of a large scale composting program on campus, and current work with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). 

    Meeting minutes are attached.

    Attached Files: 
  16. 2-6-23 Internal Meeting

    On February 6, UIUC sustainability representatives met and discussed the following:

    Attendance: Bryan Johnson, Steve Breitwieser, Julie Wurth, Shawn Patterson, Dominika Szal, Travis Tate, Jen Fraterrigo, Thurman Etchison, Pete Varney, Tony Mancuso, Daphne Hulse


    1. Housing/Dining: #Don’tWasteWednesday

      1. Housing is prepared for their post on Wednesday.

    2. Housing/Dining: Glass hauling to Midwest Fiber

      1. Thurman reported that Dining does not pay to dispose of (recycle) their glass at Midwest Fiber.

        Tailgate recycling Fall 2023 - exploring glass recycling.

      2. Dominika will follow up with Midwest Fiber.

    3. iSEE: Basketball volunteer sign-up timeline

      1. Daphne to create the sheet, iSEE/Eric to send out/promote.

      2. Volunteer numbers:

        1. 15 sign up spots for 5:00pm-6:30pm (set up, advertisement to those entering)

        2. 35 sign up spots for 6:30pm - 8:00pm (half-time collection, t-shirt giveaway)

        3. 50 sign up spots for 8:00pm - 9:30pm (end-game collection, arena collection, tear down)

    4. iSEE: Earth Week/Month programming - interns/Tony/Eric Green

      1. Office Supplies Collection - check on timing of this. Already a lot is planned!

        1. Bypass Surplus: <$100, no p-tag - loop in Steve Breitwieser/Travis Tate into this conversation.

        2. “Take it or leave it,” allow students, faculty, staff, to take and leave items, donate excess office supplies to local schools.

      2. Arbor Day & Tree Planting - ?

      3. Trash Pick-Up - iSEE interns looking into this.

    5. F&S CRC: F&S basketball communications strategy

      1. Digital signboards across campus - Coca-Cola to provide a digital sign.

      2. Eweek, GradLinks, iNews posts

      3. Other recommendations?

        1. Outreach to media (recap of previous game, segue into long-term direction).

          1. Daphne to send info to Steve.

          2. Jen: Tim Knox says single-ticket and season-ticket holders receive information. Can we raise visibility of this event to them? Highlight reusable bottle policy. Daphne + Jen to work with Marty + Tim.

    6. Group feedback: Game day posters design

      1. Consistent branding with the digital signboards.

      2. Communicate the primary objective of the event.

        1. Feedback

          1. Reduce sponsorship size - remove F&S and iSEE change to general university, move to bottom

          2. Increase size of text, remove “with us,” consider removing “Bottles & Cans”

          3. Increase the size of recycling logo

    7. Group feedback: Post-game survey

      1. Did you notice that this was a recycling-focused game? YES/NO

      2. Did you know State Farm Center recycles bottles and cans? YES/NO

      3. Did you recycle your cans and/or bottles at this game? YES/NO/I HAD NO RECYCLABLES

      4. Would you like to see more recycling initiatives at State Farm Center? YES/NO

      5. Can we use this as a vehicle for messaging re: reusable bottles?

        1. Did you know you can bring your own clear, reusable bottle to [check DIA language] athletic events? YES/NO


  17. Zero Waste iCAP Meeting 1/30/2023

    On January 30th, the Zero Waste iCAP team met to discuss the details of the suggested tailgate recycling program and ended the meeting with a plan going forward. The team also discussed the outcome of the ZW009 review during the iWG meeting that took place the same morning. 

    Meeting minutes are attached. 

    Attached Files: 
  18. Fall 2023: Tailgate Recycling initial meeting

    On January 20, Nikki Palella, Justin Holding, Shawn Patterson, and Dominika Szal, and Daphne Hulse met to discuss the following:

    What will be recycled?

    • UIUC currently recycles plastics #1&2, metal, aluminum, paper, and cardboard

    • Products that can be found at tailgates: paper and plastic products, aluminum, glass

    • UIUC does not recycle glass:

      • Would we potentially be able to haul glass to the vendor that UIUC Dining uses? (Midwest Fiber)

        • Check cost with Midwest Fiber.

        • If there is a cost, consider DIA supporting this cost.

          • Selling point: anything recyclable will be free of charge to remove.

      • We would need to provide a separated bin for glass products at each tailgate section

    • Aluminum and plastic bottles can be collected, plastic and paper might be accepted depending on its use (plastic cups might be accepted, but any paper/plastic product used for food is most likely going to have to go into landfill)

      • Future idea: use diversion rates from the tailgating and stand pick up collection as segue into DIA concessionaire conversations (because we will eventually hit a wall for our diversion rate if we can’t collect food waste, food-soiled containers, non-recyclable materials)

    What will need to be prepared

    • Signage regarding what is recyclable, what isn’t (this was successful at the basketball game).

      • Located at all the major parking lots: E14, E32.

        • Contact DIA to understand the SFC parking lot use for tailgating.

      • Could be a signboard located in key points throughout the tailgate areas.

      • In combination: have informational papers (pamphlets) attached to the bags that are handed out that explain what is/isn’t recyclable.

    • Centralized bins to collect recyclables and trash:

      • Swingpans, rolloffs, iSEE in a central location.

    • Volunteers would be needed (iSEE interns)

      • Roles:

        • Some could walk around carrying bags to give to tailgaters.

        • Some could walk around collecting recyclables specifically and provide information.

        • Some could stand by the bins to ensure that items are placed in the proper location.

        • Have it be shift-based. We learned at the basketball game that that would be most successful. During rush time (1 hour before the game starts, have the most volunteers on board).

    • Incentive via raffle:

      • Tailgaters incentivized to recycle, entered into a raffle if they do. Sustainable swag as a giveaway.

    Other considerations

    • How many tailgating areas are there?

      • How many stands would be needed to cover each tailgating area? How many volunteers per area/in charge of a stand.

      • Grange Grove is popular spot.

      • Initially, we will only target E14 and E32 as this is where the majority of tailgaters will be, then we can expand as initiative develops over time.

    • Would we like to try to implement any “zero waste” games to go along with the tailgate recycling as well?

      • Idea: instead of having a zero waste game like we do for basketball, focus efforts on before games (tailgating) and after games (pickup in the stands).

        • We would need ~100-150 volunteers for stand pick up after games, assuming a 45min-1hour pickup session

          • Incentivize with free football game tickets.

          • Pro: having volunteers pick up would assist the DIA staff who would otherwise have to pick up the items from the stand (and put them in the landfill).

          • Con: less interaction/engagement with attendees.

    • Shawn’s idea: Gamification. Have service fraternities/sororities assist with the tailgate recycling and compete with each other to see who can collect the most?

      • Could implement this within the pickup in the stands, too.

    • See how our partnership with Coca-Cola could play into this tailgate plan - could they assist with volunteer t-shirts, costs etc?

    • How many games would we want to implement this program?

      • In 2022 UIUC held 7 home games between the end of August and the start of November (the final 4 of these games were Big Ten; bigger crowds). 6 took place on Saturdays. 1 occurred on a Thursday.

      • Start small, learn the dynamic of the space. Start pre-season, if possible. Work up to a Big Ten game.

        • Once we get a hang of how everything works, we can aim big.

    • Seek recommendations from peer schools (OSU).

      • Results from the Big 10 survey could really help.

    F&S’ role

    • Collecting recyclables and trash after the event.

    • Providing the blue recycling bags.

    • Providing containers (free) for the tailgating spaces.

      • Reduces the overhead cost for DIA.

    • Daphne (ZW team - Shreya + Dominika) + Shawn.


    • January - May: Planning, strategizing with iCAP ZW team, F&S, DIA, iSEE, Coca-Cola as needed.

    • June-July: Buffer for any remaining planning. Prepare and execute publicity ahead of the fall semester.

    • Early-Mid August: Heavier publicity, recruit volunteers.

    • Late August: Launch the program.

    • Early November: Close the program

    Immediate next steps

    • Dominika: Reach out to Midwest Fiber to determine the cost of glass recycling.
    • Shreya: Reach out to DIA (Tim Knox) about how the State Farm Center parking lots are used during tailgates.
    • Team: Look into peer schools' programs for best practices.
    • Daphne: Schedule a Memorial Stadium Tour (for the stand recycling initiative).
    • Team: Create a more refined vision/roadmap, meet with the group for follow up.