Winning Practices for Integrating Sustainability into Your Athletics Program

stadium seating with trashThere’s a growing movement toward zero waste in college athletics. And like a strong athletics program, meaningful recovery takes smart scouting, hard work, and a firm grasp of the fundamentals. Move your program to the top bracket by rolling out some of these best practices:

  • Start by performing a waste audit at your stadium to find out what is in your waste stream.
  • Talk to your food vendors to work on using environmentally preferable options such as compostable foodservice items to avoid items going to the landfill.
  • Co-locate recycling, compost and trash bins in all locations when you can, and provide clear and consistent signs for each type of disposal.
  • Start a composting program at the stadium to recover food waste.
  • Pilot a recycling program during tailgating to capture bottles and cans.
  • Reduce water and energy use, through projects such as lighting retrofits or adjusting your irrigation system, alongside your waste reduction efforts to increase operational cost savings.
  • Educate, Educate, Educate! Get fans pumped about bringing zero waste to their stadium.

A Natural Double Win in RecycleMania

So you’ve participated in RecycleMania and feel like you’ve been rocking the recycling competition… What about the organics race? Get on track to bring two wins back to your campus instead of just one!

Numbers Behind Food WasteChew on these questions:

What can you collect? Food waste, yard waste, compostable foodservice ware, and paper towels across campus. Over one-third of most waste streams is food-related waste. Don’t miss out!

Where can you collect? Kitchens, cafeterias, lounges, to-go kiosks and cafes, and campus grounds and landscaping.

Who’s leading by example? It’s okay to cheat off of someone else’s paper this time. Check out University of Michigan’s efforts in beginning a composting program on campus for ideas on how to get going.

How can you get started? Evaluate all composting options, make the business case, gain campus awareness… and start recovering. It’s often less complicated than traditional recycling, and the impact really adds up!

Join the organics race and become a leader in the next round of RecycleMania!


Kelly DominoKelly Domino
RRS Consultant