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Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Big Thank You

The Office of Sustainability would like to thank all who made Gator game day recycling a success. With in-kind and financial help from Sam’s Club and Pepsi, as well as hours of hard work from UF volunteers and staff, over 25,700 pounds of cans and bottles were collected.

Game day recycling efforts are headed up by the TailGator Green Team, a group of student volunteers. Every game day, here at the swamp, the TailGator Green Team sets up their tent where volunteers sign-in, pick up their recycling tools, namely rubber gloves and bags, and get their tailgating zone assignment.

The volunteers visit tailgating parties across campus, dropping off bags, so football fans can collect their recyclables, and educating fans on the benefits of recycling. Just before kick-off, the volunteers visit the tailgators again, check the bags, and remove any non-recyclables.

Claire Long coordinates the recycling efforts and is quick to point out that game day recycling wouldn’t be possible without support from staff from the physical plant and the University Alumni Association (UAA). Roving the campus, physical plant employees collect the tied-off bags from all of the tailgating spots and consolidate the recyclables for pick-up. The UAA also contracts to have the recyclables separated out from the trash during the post-game stadium cleanup.

Besides diverting waste from the landfill, the team has racked up almost 900 volunteer hours in over 500 shifts. Each shift lasts from two to four hours and when the bags are tied-off, volunteers are treated with praise and refreshments. If you’re interested in volunteering with the TailGator Green Team visit the Gator Green Team Facebook page on the UF network.