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Best Practices for Expanding Recycling in Campus & School Athletic Facilities

Posted by James Gelter on 4/3/2012
Recycling Tips for Campus & School Athletic Facilities

Expanding recycling opportunities in athletic facilities enhances fan loyalty, saves money on disposal and reduces the burden on custodial staff because there is less trash to manage. And high participation and successful recycling always starts with the right recycling containers and systems.

Here are some key best practices that campuses we work with have used to expand recycling in campus and school athletic facilities and fields:

  • Co-locate recycling and waste receptacles by utilizing 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 recycling and waste stations.
  • Place recycling and waste receptacles in strategic locations adjacent to vending areas, entrances/exits, and other prominent and high-traffic locations.
  • Use clear signs and other visual cues such as restricted openings for recyclables (e.g., round opening for bottles and cans and slots for paper) to distinguish recycling bins from waste bins. This will minimize contamination of the recycling stream and maximize diversion of recyclables. 
  • Use color-coded trash and recycling bags, as well as labels on the bags, to assist custodial staff in keeping recycling and waste separate after the recycling containers have been serviced.
  • Customize recycling systems with campus and school logos or colors to create campus-wide standards for recycling containers. This builds awareness of the containers across the entire campus.
  • Provide consistent and regular education to the student body and other event spectators. Hand out and post flyers regarding the new recycling program, and make brief recycling announcements over the public address system during large athletic events. Form "green teams" of students, faculty and administrators to provide hands-on recycling instructions during key athletic events and at central recycling stations.
  • Implement tailgate recycling programs at all large events, including distributing recycling bags and recycling instructions at the parking entrances. Use two color-coded bags, one for recycling and one for waste, and then use color-coded containers that the bags can be emptied or placed into.
  • Above all, place recycling and waste receptacles throughout athletic facilities, indoors and out, so that recycling is convenient.