Kelly Daves said she thought recycling was just the beginning of becoming sustainable, and volunteering to help increase recycling at a TCU football game was one way to put that process into motion.
“It’s kind of like the little gear that starts the big machine,” Daves, a junior geology major, said.
A group TCU students organized an advertising campaign that focused on their participation in the Game Day Challenge, a nationwide competition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WiseWaste program created “for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at their football games,” according to the EPA website.
Leslie Prince, a senior strategic communication major and the leader of the group participating in the Game Day Challenge, said the event will take place during the football game against Colorado State on Nov. 19.
The group hopes to triple the amount of recycling at a normal home game by providing more opportunities for fans to recycle, she said, and the students in the group want to set a recycling plan in motion that could possibly continue after the challenge is over.
“TCU has recycling on campus, but at the stadium it’s really a weak point, so that is where we wanted to really build a solid foundation and start some things that could be continued on in future years,” Prince said.
Prince’s group is in the Strategic Communication Campaigns class, which is for strategic communication majors to create advertising campaigns.
Wendy Macias, an assistant professor who teaches the class, said both campaigns this semester focused on recycling at TCU and felt the combination of football and recycling would help get people more involved.
“I just thought it would be a great thing to key into the football excitement and have it be something that would make recycling fun and exciting and get people involved in a different way,” Macias said.
The group in charge of the campaign promoted the challenge through social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, flyers on and off campus and a PA announcement at the game, Prince said.
Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful lent the group 101 recycling bins to use at the football game, she said. TCU Physical Plant designated two of the stadium’s five dumpsters for recycling.
The group will target the tailgating area and the entry gates to the stadium because there are already recycling bins throughout the inside of the stadium, she said.
Randy Chambers, a TCU landscaping and grounds supervisor who oversees tailgating at football games, said it would be a tough task to implement these changes for every football game.
“That would be a big undertaking if someone wanted to be real serious about doing this on a game to game basis and try to do it right,” he said.
The physical plant has no official plans to add more recycling during regular football games. The main problem keeping them from adding more permanent recycling would be the necessary manpower, he said.
Prince said the group recruited volunteers from various groups and some of the volunteers, including Daves, are in the Sustainability: Environment/Social Justice/Economic Issues course in the criminal justice department.
The volunteers will watch to ensure that people do not contaminate recyclables by mixing them with regular trash and make tailgaters aware of the recycling bins, Daves said.
She said she wants to get better at recycling and thinks it is only just part of becoming more sustainable.
“I honestly think that recycling is a baby step to getting into [sustainability],” Daves said. “I’m happy to be able to put my efforts into allowing people that baby step, or teaching people that baby step.”
Prince said the group hopes to finish in the top 25 out of 80 schools participating.