Directed Waste Streams
Everyone who follows college football had an opinion about how coach Jim Tressel left Ohio State University's football team. Once the new football season begins, however, those who enter the football stadium will notice another thing that's gone: trash cans.
In the attempt to be more environmentally friendly, all trash cans in the Shoe will be removed and replaced by different bins meant to stream "trash" into 3 categories: recyclables, compost, and landfill trash.
OSU's zero waste initiative that begins this fall ambitiously tries to channel 90% of the stadium's waste to recycling centers instead of landfills.
In terms of the stadium's track record of waste management, last year's football season at OSU successfully delivered 111.5 tons of recyclables which would have ended up in the landfill without a well-managed and sufficiently funded waste management program.
With the success of last year's recycling program, the recycling program's coordinator feels that it's time to up the ante. Corey Hawkey says: "This (football) season, we should definitely be around that 75% marker so that the next season, we can move toward that 90 percent goal."
Last year, those who attended football games in the stadium didn't know that what they threw away was getting recycled. Everyone placed their unwanted beverage and food containers into a single type of trash can; the trash was later manually sorted for recycling.
The problem with this method of recycling is that apart from being labor intensive and highly unpleasant to those who have to manually perform the sorting, this all-in-one kind of waste management thwarts recycling when leftover drinks and food items drench and smear all the items inside the receptacle. Water plastic bottles and aluminum soda cans "contaminated" with ketchup, mayo, or cheese cannot be recycled.
So, the stadium will now employ a waste stream made up of three different kinds of bins for recycling, compost, and landfill trash. The new system will have stadium patrons doing the sorting. People will be hired to stand near the bins and direct football fans to place their trash in the right container.
Here's hoping that football fans will be willing to place items into the correct receptacles.