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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Football Aims for Zero Waste with Packaging Event
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 07/10/2019
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DURHAM, N.C. – Members of the Duke football program spent part of Wednesday evening teaming with the university’s Sanitation and Recycling department in support of the Zero Waste Game Day initiative. The Blue Devils used 15,000 bags to make 5,000 game day zero waste packets for distribution this fall.

The packets consisted of a trash bag, recycling bag and compost bag with an informational flyer detailing the program. The packets will be distributed by volunteers during home games this fall to educate tailgaters on proper waste sorting technique and contribute to a culture of sustainability on game days.

The goal is to continue the zero waste success that began during the 2014 season. The program, which is organized by Athletics Facilities, Game Operations and Championships, and supported by Sustainable Duke and Duke Facilities Management, has led to more than 75,000 pounds composted and more than 175,000 pounds recycled during home events. The Blue Devils achieved a season-high average of 79 percent diversion during the 2018 season, including three games with greater than an 80 percent diversion rate. 

The Zero Waste Game Day initiative began in 2013 with the athletic department teaming with Liza Schillo, a graduate student attending the Nicholas School for the Environment at Duke, Arwen Buchholz from Duke Sanitation and Recycling and Tavey Capps from Duke Sustainability. With Buchholz, Capps and Schillo’s assistance, a plan was formulated to divert waste generated in the stadium away from the landfill through recycling, composting and source reduction. 

In the 2015 season, Duke became the first school in the ACC to achieve a zero waste game day when it diverted 94 percent of recyclable and compostable materials in a game against University of Pittsburgh.