Recycling efforts improved at stadium
Published: Monday, September 26, 2011
Updated: Monday, September 26, 2011 22:09
Members of West Virginia University WECAN and Mountaineers Recycle programs continue to collect and recycle waste from home football games.
The program has successfully improved its recycling statistics from last year only a few games into the season, said Traci Liebig, conservation specialist for the Center for Civic Engagement.
"We have seen an uptake in recycling at the first two games. Fans want to recycle and are beginning to learn how. A lot of fans have learned to look for us now. Every category is up from previous years, especially plastic bottles," Liebig said.
Kendra Hurst, special events coordinator for the Center for Civic Engagement, said she is pleased with the results of the first two games.
"People are really starting to embrace recycling more than past years. They are more open to it," Hurst said. "I think it's great. It shows that people are willing to do their part in helping the environment,"
Liebig said the program is benefitting from the addition of beer sales in the stadium.
"We're really excited because with the addition of beer sales our numbers have improved greatly. We are thrilled about Mountaineers Recycle," Liebig said.
She said cardboard and aluminum cans have increased about 200 pounds for both games when compared to last year.
"Beer vendors receive their beer in cardboard boxes. We can then take the boxes and recycle them," Liebig said.
She said the average total for plastic bottles recycled for the 2010-11 season was about 1,800 pounds per game. At the first game of the 2011-12 season against Marshall, which was shortened due to weather, fans turned in a record 5,495 pounds of plastic bottles.
"That is about 87,000 bottles in less time than usual," Liebig said.
She said during the Norfolk State game Sept. 10, 4,455 pounds of plastic bottles were recycled. The results from the Louisiana State University game will not be in for several weeks, but she said she expects about the same, if not better, results than the opening game.
Hurst said Mountaineers Recycle was anticipating a large crowd at the LSU game.
"We generally arrive four hours before kickoff, but since kickoff was later and ESPN was in town, we showed up at 10 a.m., and we were there until 3 p.m.," Hurst said.
She said fans were extremely willing to recycle during Saturday's game.
"Fans were very enthusiastic. Everyone we asked took a bag," Hurst said.
Liebig said it is important to continue improving the program despite the effectiveness of recent efforts.
"We'd like to continue to recycle as much as we can, but we still miss some things. We would like to expand to all lots, especially the Coliseum lot. We'd also like to get our name out there more," Liebig said.
Liebig encourages students to continue to support the program.
"Recycling is a very participatory thing. You can hand out bags, but you can't make people recycle. I encourage students to keep recycling. There are plenty of bags in the lots and cans in the stadiums. Encourage one another as well. We want fans to get to a point where it's not something they have to think about anymore, and they just do it," Liebig said.
Students interested in joining Mountaineers Recycle can visit www.cce.wvu.edu.