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IU Athletics continuing composting program this season after successful pilot program

Sept. 21, 2016

IU Athletics’ "Greening Cream and Crimson" composting program is back for its second year. 

Zero waste station

Zero waste stations are placed throughout Memorial Stadium and in Knothole Park as an alternative to trash bins. The bins are color-coded by type of waste: Green is for recyclables, yellow is for compost and red is for landfill items. | PHOTO COURTESY OF IU ATHLETICS

The initiative, which the university piloted last year, encourages football fans to compost their food waste at all IU home football games. Zero-waste stations are placed throughout Memorial Stadium and in Knothole Park as an alternative to trash bins. The bins are color-coded by type of waste: Green is for recyclables, yellow is for compost and red is for landfill items.

Last season, 14,010 pounds of food was composted and 39,060 pounds of material was recycled over the course of seven games. With those numbers, the program was able to divert just over 20 percent of waste from the landfill.  

"This program is important to IU Athletics because we want and need to be leaders in the community and around the state," sustainability coordinator Caryn Hojnicki said. "This can inspire those at IU or in the Bloomington community to begin a compost collection, save energy, save water or make other small changes at home, work and play."

IU Athletics works in partnership with JB Salvage and Green Earth Recycling & Compost to ensure the composting program run smoothly. After each home game, the collected material is picked up by JB Salvage, and then Green Earth composts the waste. They also gathered food waste in the Hoosier Room dining facility for student-athletes and staff.

To expand the reach of the program, additional collection areas are available this season. Food waste will be collected in Hoosier Village and in the Corporate Tent areas, just outside the stadium.

Enter to win

Current IU faculty and staff using a valid IU email address can enter to win two tickets, a $90 value, to IU football’s upcoming game against Wake Forest, set to begin at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at Memorial Stadium. The contest opens Sept. 21 and closes at 4 p.m. Sept. 22. The winner must pick up tickets at the Inside IU office in the Von Lee, 517 E. Kirkwood Ave.

The program is managed by "zero-waste educators," "tailgate ambassadors" and "green greeters." The volunteers assist patrons with getting their waste in the proper bin, hand out recycling bags to fans in the tailgate areas and educate fans about the program as they walk into the stadium.

"This season we hope to meet and/or exceed a diversion rate of 35 percent or more at each home football game," Hojnicki said. "This can only happen with the help of our volunteers." 

IU Athletics reported a steady turnout of volunteers for last year’s season, with the Ohio State game bringing in the highest number of volunteers, at 84. However, to expand the success of the initiative, volunteers are always needed. If you’re interested, sign up to volunteer online.

Other new additions to IU football games this year include pedicab rides, food trucks, water-filling stations and more. 

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