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Tailgate Recycling (Ongoing)


During the spring 2023 semester, the iCAP Zero Waste Team submitted a recommendation for Facilities & Services and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to jointly launch a pilot tailgate recycling program, beginning during the fall 2023 football season. On May 2, 2023, Director of Athletics Josh Whitman approved the recommendation, and on May 21, 2023, Facilities & Services Executive Director Ehab Kamarah also approved the recommendation. The Tailgate Recycling Program is an extension of the larger "Fighting Illini, Fighting Waste" initiative carried out in collaboration with Coca-Cola, which now houses both basketball and football waste-related initiatives. For this program, Coca-Cola has funded volunteer t-shirts, giveaway t-shirts, and 20 outdoor recycling bins to collect loose bottles and cans from tailgaters.

F&S will provide blue bags (the color Waste Transfer Station uses to identify trash bags that contain recyclable materials), which the DIA's parking lot supervisors will disseminate to tailgate participants when they are checking in by car. These bags will contain paper instructions stapled onto each bag. The attached paper will convey what recyclable materials can be placed in the blue bag (plastic bottles and aluminum cans are the target materials), and will include a tailgate lot map with locations of “collection hubs” (location at which a F&S recycling garbage pan is placed).

Student volunteers will be a crucial component of the program in its early stages, while F&S and DIA work to build the habit among tailgaters to recycle. Volunteers will be posted around the collection hub(s) and Grange Grove, engaging with tailgaters and providing education about what campus can recycle. In Grange Grove, 20 Coca-Cola recycling bins will be placed nearby the entry points to Memorial Stadium. The DIA has advised that the bins that will collect loose (non-bagged) recyclables will be most effective near the stadium, as visitors are finishing drinks before entering. The west side of the stadium is consistently the busiest.


June 6, 2023

Dear Mr. Whitman and Tim [Knox],

The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Working Group (iWG) recently reviewed recommendation ZW011 from the Zero Waste iCAP Team. The iWG recommends that the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics increase permanent recycling infrastructure on the upper concourse of the State Farm Center by purchasing and installing 3-stream bins that adhere to the campus standard. Additional details are provided in the attached recommendation and assessment.

The Formal iCAP Procedures include a section on campus unit responsibilities upon receipt of a recommendation, and we respectfully request your response to this recommendation by June 30. If you have any questions regarding this recommendation, we are happy to meet to discuss it.


Jennifer Fraterrigo




Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)

iCAP Working Group co-chairs

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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Project Team

  • Project Leader:

    Daphne Hulse

    Team Members:

    • Shawn Patterson
    • Dan Hiser
    • Sakshi Vaya
    • Dominika Szal
    • Zach Acton

    Prior Contacts:

    • Nikki Palella
    • Justin Holding
    • Shreya Mahajan


  • Proposed December 12, 2022
    Proposed by Nikki Palella
    Investigated January 20, 2023
    Investigated by Shawn Patterson, Justin Holding, Nikki Palella, Dominika Szal, Shreya Mahajan, Daphne Hulse
    Approved May 2, 2023
    Approved by Josh Whitman


Project Location(s)

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