TEMPE, Ariz. – In the first wave of Arizona State University’s initiative to minimize its carbon footprint, Sun Devil Athletics will host its first-ever Zero Waste football game against instate rival Arizona during the Territorial Cup® matchup on Sat., Nov. 30 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Sun Devil Athletics is the first organization at Arizona State University to adopt Zero Waste in its facilities.
With a limited amount of trash cans, fans in attendance have the option to place their waste in either a green compost or a blue recycling bin positioned around Sun Devil Stadium. The bins will be clearly labeled and bin guards will be available to clarify and help educate fans on the process.
The rules? Fans can discard food, liquids, and serviceware (plates, napkins, utensils) in green composting bins, while tossing bottles, cans, and programs in blue recycling bins.
What is zero waste? ASU defines zero waste as diversion of 90 percent or more of waste into recycling and composting. Without compost or recycling, the waste would be dumped into a landfill rather than harnessing the ability to reuse or recycle the material. Working with concessionaire Sodexo, Sun Devil Athletics has already taken strides that will help smooth its transition to zero waste. All products sold or distributed at SDA events will fit in either the compost category or recycle category.
By only offering recycling and compost receptacles dedicated to the different types of waste collected inside the stadium, Sun Devil and visiting fans will play a frontline role in the sorting process. This will minimize cross contamination—getting the wrong product in the wrong place—onsite, perhaps the biggest inhibitor to landfill diversion, and will allow ASU partners Waste Management and Crystal Cleaning to employ more sophisticated sorting processes on their end.
This season, Sun Devil football has averaged 60,503 fans through six home games, which makes Sun Devil Stadium the largest and most trafficked venue on the Arizona State Campus. For a comparison, a stadium of approximately 60,000 attendees produces 25,000 to 30,000 pounds of waste in just one game, or approximately 15 tons.
In addition to Sun Devil Stadium, Wells Fargo Arena, Packard Stadium, and Farrington Stadium will all transition into zero-waste facilities. This transition will build on SDA’s zero waste efforts in the 2012-13 season, in which SDA hosted nine zero-waste events, including a women’s basketball game, a gymnastics meet, and seven baseball games. At Sun Devil baseball games, SDA achieved a diversion rate of 70 percent.
SDA’s adoption of the zero-waste model is the first phase of Arizona State’s campus-wide transition to full zero waste implementation by 2015. Moving forward, zero waste athletic events will be the foundation and the building blocks for campus-wide zero waste efforts as ASU works toward being the greenest campus in America.
For more information visit zerowaste.asu.edu and use the hashtag #ZeroWasteASU.