Gator's Stadium Strives Toward Zero-Waste

By Kiara Beard on November 22, 2014

Captivating recycling cans is just one of the ways UF’s stadium is striving toward zero-waste.

University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is popularly thought of as humid, eventful, rowdy and crazy. The Swamp is where the renowned Florida Gators sweat, run, fall, dance and play football.

However, when you think about the Swamp, it’s probably not as popularly thought of as being sustainable.

UF’s entire campus exhibits sustainability, but its unique attribute is its push towards a zero-waste stadium. Allison Vitt, outreach and communications coordinator at UF’s Office of Sustainability said they’ve been enforcing green initiatives in and around the stadium since the office’s conception in 2006.

Tailgaters around campus may have witnessed Green Team members passing out blue recycle bags during Gator home games. They’re a volunteer organization that formed simultaneously with the opening of the Office of Sustainability.

Green Team members’ goal is to educate tailgaters about the impact recycling has in and around the stadium.

“It’s been a really successful program,” Vitt said. “We would love to have more volunteers every home game.”

In the stadium there are several recycling cans that are labeled with UF’s Sustainability logo. Different cans accommodate different waste materials that are later recycled or composted.

Joey Hoppes, 19-year-old chemistry junior, said he noticed all the recycling cans during the last home game.

“They were everywhere, which made them accessible,” he said. “I remember specifically recycling my water bottle on the walk out.”

If you’ve ever purchased something from a vendor inside the stadium, chances are it’s later going to be recycled or composted too. According to Vitt, the stadium reached a 78 percent diversion rate after last football season.

“We’ve really come along,” Vitt said. “It used to be a lot lower than that.”

UF has a partnership with the Watson C&D. They haul the stadium’s waste to their landfill site in Archer and it’s molded into reusable soil.

Summer Pliskow, 18-year-old theatre freshman, attends all the Gator home games. She wasn’t aware of the stadium’s initiative towards sustainability, but considers it to be a good thing.

“It’s important that we protect our environment and it’s great UF is taking part in that,” she said.

In addition to the recycling cans, a lot of signage is used throughout the stadium. Signs at nearly every gateway indicate which vendor materials are compostable and which are recyclable.

According to Vitt, more signage is an initiative that was recently adopted. The more signs that prevail throughout the stadium is just one way UF is trying to meet their zero-waste goal by 2015.

“We’re pushing towards having the first zero-waste stadium in the SEC,” Vitt said. “I’m really excited about anything that puts us first in the SEC,” she said laughing.

I'm a University of Florida journalism junior. I love to write about all things Florida Gators and the ever-eventful Gainesville, FL. I'm an organic food enthusiast and routinely share recipes on my blog. I look forward to sharing my stories with you.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

More Uloop Sports Articles

COLLEGE HOUSING LISTINGS

25 Photos
Fountainhouse Victorian Square
3 Photos
Bedroom for rent in 5 bedroom house
12 Photos
The Vista
7 Photos
Ann Arbor Apartment 1B/1B
34 Photos
Green Leaf Riverwalk
See all COLLEGE Housing Listings

GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY

BROWSE OTHER COLLEGES

Back to Top

Log In

or Sign Up
Students
Post FREE Listings
Student Start Here
Employers
Post Jobs for Students
Employers Start Here
Housing Providers
Post Available Housing
Housing Start Here

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format