Nebraska Athletics is increasing its commitment to the nationwide recycling effort. The Big Red is “Going Green,” aiming to increase recycling totals by approximately 15,000 pounds by the end of the 2012 football season.
The University of Nebraska Athletic Department strives to be a leader in all aspects, and its commitment to recycling and sustainability perfectly illustrates this.
Recently, Nebraska placed second in the Big Ten in the Game Day Recycling Challenge, which is a competition to promote waste reduction at football games, recycling 4,000 pounds in one game. On average, Nebraska collected approximately 2,200 pounds per of recycled plastic per game at Memorial Stadium.
The recycling efforts of Nebraska Athletics previously have been fulfilled by Recycling Enterprises of Nebraska since the beginning of the partnership in 2009. In preparation for the upcoming football season recycling efforts, Nebraska has awarded contracts to Recycling Enterprises of Nebraska for recycling and to Carter Refuse for waste hauling.
The new program going into effect for the 2012 season will increase NU’s diversion rate, the rate of waste materials diverted from traditional disposals to be recycled, composted, or reused, to 95 percent.
During this upcoming season, Nebraska will be able to average 5,700 pounds of recyclables per game, which adds up to approximately 40,000 pounds of material that will be recycled during the 2012 season. The increase of approximately 3,500 pounds of recyclables per game is made possible by Recycling Enterprises obtaining a mixed solid waste permit from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. The permit will allow Recycling Enterprises to sort recyclable materials from the waste in order to recycle as much as possible following each game.
Recent sustainability initiatives in Memorial Stadium call for: recycling cardboard, scrap metal, and wood pallets; increased postgame recycling efforts; additional recycling containers; installing longer lasting, more efficient light bulbs; a new maintenance program for leaking faucets and ice machines; and block-out shades installed in all skybox suites.
Nebraska Athletics commitment to recycling does not just occur in Memorial Stadium, but in other venues and athletic buildings as well. The office recycling program provides recycling bins for athletic staff. As a result, more than two tons of paper has been recycled annually.
For reference, one ton of 100 percent recycled paper saves the equivalent amount of energy to power the average American home for five months. The concession stands have switched to using recyclable serving ware, cups and napkins. The Bob Devaney Sports Center has implemented many new “green” initiatives to promote recycling including, transitioning to all “green” cleaning products, using motion sensors on bathroom lights, and reseeding with grass that is more drought resistant.
Nebraska’s pouring rights partner, Pepsi, will continue to support NU’s recycling efforts by public awareness campaigns and monetary support.
Since beginning to track its efforts in 2009, Nebraska Athletics has steadily increased the amount of total recycled material, and is committed to continue to find new and innovative ways to reduce waste and promote recycling.
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