LSU Campus Sustainability receives $10,000 Keep Louisiana Beautiful grant

LSU Campus Sustainability receives $10,000 Keep Louisiana Beautiful grant

POSTED: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 11:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 11:04am

LSU Campus Sustainability recently received a strong boost in its efforts to increase recycling awareness and activity both on and off campus, especially during football game days, as it was awarded a $10,000 Healthy Communities Grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful.

The grant comes just as Campus Sustainability is preparing for its LSU Gameday Recycling Tigers program, part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA, Game Day Challenge, on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Tammy Millican, communications manager with the LSU Office of Facility Services, said that funds from the grant will go toward the purchase of 1,000 new, larger recycling bins for use on campus during events such as athletic contests, particularly for football game day activities. The grant dollars will also help to purchase t-shirts for student volunteers, who will distribute the bins to tailgaters and give instructions on proper recycling practices.

Denise Newell, campus sustainability manager, said that the new 24-gallon blue recycling bins will allow more recyclable material to be collected than the current 18-gallon bins being used.

“Recognition from Keep Louisiana Beautiful is quite an honor,” Newell said. “With the program this grant has funded, LSU has the opportunity to reach approximately 90,000 football ticket holders, as well as an additional 20,000 tailgaters with our sustainability message. We’d also like to thank LSU Athletics, LSU Student Government, Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful, and ECO at LSU, which each wrote letters of support that accompanied the grant application.”
Keep Louisiana Beautiful’s Healthy Communities Grant is designed to help community organizations, governmental agencies and educational groups implement projects with a specific focus on litter abatement through community education, recycling programs enforcement and more.

LSU Gameday Recycling Tigers will take place during activities for the home football game versus the University of South Carolina at Tiger Stadium.

The EPA Game Day Challenge is a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction at football games. During the challenge, colleges and universities implement waste reduction programs during home football games. Schools track and report waste reductions, and disposal data is used to rank the schools. Goals of the challenge are to lower the waste generated at college football games; increase participation by students, faculty, staff and the community in waste reduction programs; and to heighten awareness of waste reduction programs. More information can be found online at http://www.epa.gov/smm/wastewise/challenge/gameday/index.htm.

For the past two years, LSU has taken home first-place honors among the Southeastern Conference universities in the program.

“This weekend, as LSU defends it conference title in recycling, we are asking fans to show their tiger pride by helping LSU compete,” said Andres Harris, LSU Recycling manager.

LSU’s recycling rate has increased each football season since recycling efforts began. According to Campus Sustainability figures, the rate of recycled materials collected at football games has increased since 2003 from about 1 percent up to nearly 18 percent. From 2005 to 2012 alone, LSU has increased its recycling totals from about 300 tons per year up to 1,500 tons.

In 2010, LSU’s first year of participation in the Game Day Challenge, recycling numbers on campus doubled during the Game Day Challenge. According to figures from Campus Sustainability, an average of 1.447 pounds of waste was generated per person, with a diversion rate of 23.81 percent. This led to recycling estimates coming in at an average of 0.344 pounds per person.

Results from 2011 showed an average of 1.563 pounds of waste generated per person, with a diversion rate of 22.26 percent, leading to an average recycling rate of 0.348 pounds per person.

Most of the recyclables inside the stadium are collected post-game by clean-up crews, with the Stadium Club and suite areas also contributing. Materials outside of the stadium are currently collected in 2,000 green buckets, donated by East Baton Rouge City-Parish Government in 2005, and bags provided in all tailgating areas or at the stadium entrance gates. The donated bins have begun to show signs of age, and will be replaced with the new bins over time.
As further evidence of LSU’s commitment to recycling, Campus Sustainability also plans to establish a permanent location for a new 25-cubic-yard roll-off recycling container on Nov. 10, in honor of America Recycles Day. The container, which will be placed in the Nicholson Extension area, will be accessible to the surrounding campus community, including apartment complexes and local businesses.

“By providing more convenient bin locations, we hope that recycling will become a daily routine for a larger number of our community members,” Harris said.

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