Recycling problem at Apogee sees increase

Recycling problem at Apogee sees increase

Recycling problem at Apogee sees increase
November 19
23:27 2014

Steven James / Staff Writer

The recycling bins at Apogee Stadium are normally there for people who decide to use the facilities during tailgating events and football games.

However, the recycling bins are not always there, and even when they are, their quantity is usually limited.

Placing recycling bins at Apogee Stadium and the Hill for tailgating comes from funding by the We Mean Green Fund, a $5 per fall and spring semester fee each student pays as part of tuition, which helps fund UNT Sustainability projects, according to the Sustainability website.

Director of outreach for UNT’s Graduate Student Council and sociology doctorate student Alexandra Bush is one of the people in charge of getting the bins put at the stadium for events.

Bush said if students have sustainable proposals they would like to see accomplished, they can submit them online at the We Mean Green Fund page of the Sustainability website.

“A lot of people don’t know about it,” Bush said. “This year, we wanted the whole university, but not enough people have signed up for it for more recycling bins to be there.”

She said the bins at the Homecoming game were mostly successful, but the recycling bin budget from the We Mean Green Fund has dropped.

Bush said the idea to put recycling bins at the stadium came from kinesiology, health promotion and recreation professor Joseph Walker. Last year, Walker showed a proposal to Sustainability for a project he wanted one of his recreation classes to do.

Bush said distributing the bins at the Hill and stadium for tailgating events and games have been more difficult this year than last because Sustainability wanted volunteers from around campus to contribute, not just from one class.

Bush said Student Government Association and Graduate Student Council have contributed volunteer help, but other than that, help has been limited.

Sustainability assistant director Brandon Zitar said another problem with placing recycling bins at the stadium and Hill for tailgating and games is because the custodial actions at Apogee are controlled by UNT Athletics, not Sustainability, because Apogee is separate from the rest of campus.

Zitar said Sustainability can help clean litter and place recycling bins at the stadium, but Athletics is in charge of the recycling infrastructure.

He said Sustainability walks around the tailgates and asks people to recycle, and works with various organizations to have better recycling at Apogee, but the recycling infrastructure decisions come from Athletics.

“That’s not uncommon for universities where consumer service, athletics and then [the main campus] are all kind of separated out,” Zitar said. “Everyone knows that after a football game, there’s tailgaters and there’s people out there having a good time. I suggest that a better recycling infrastructure be a better approach to the problem.”

Athletics director Rick Villarreal said having recycling bins on the Hill and around Apogee was a key component of what athletics wanted for the stadium. Villarreal said he does as much as he can to get recycling outside for tailgating events, and all recyclable material from the game goes into the stadium’s in-house recycling compactor and sold.

“When we built the stadium, one of our goals was to build it as green as possible. We try to recycle everything that we can,” he said. “I’m a big advocate of recycling. I have three grandkids, and when they were born, to that point I would say I was not a big recycler. But when you have young children like that, you become aware of that and want to leave a good place for them to grow up.”

Villarreal said the logistics of where recycling bags go change from game to game. They need to be temporary, he said, because there simply aren’t very many people in the area on non-game days.

“I’m not sure those other 360 days of the year they’d look good out there,” he said. “It’s just on those game days that you have an influx of thousands of people where you need something there.”

Delta Sigma Phi president and finance senior Kent Barnett said his fraternity tries to recycle each time they tailgate at Apogee.

“Whenever we do tailgate, some of it gets into the recycling bins, or we just throw it in the trash, whatever’s easier,” Barnett said. “We get as close as we can to the stadium. I think the bins are a good idea. It’s just empowering people to use them is the problem.”

Featured Image: A recycling bin near the entrance to Apogee Stadium. A line of trash cans and recycling bins sit near the entrance, and some are spread throughout the Hill. Photo by Devin Dakota – Staff Photographer

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