Texas Athletics is recruiting students to volunteer at Texas Baseball and Softball Gameday Sustainability Events over the next three weeks.
Director of sustainability Jim Walker said diverting waste from landfills demonstrates the University’s commitment to recycling and composting.
“(Sporting events cause) huge spikes in waste material,” Walker said. “(The) landfill waste stream is the most expensive way we can manage waste, so as much as we can divert into recycling, compost — it saves the University money.”
UT has a goal to become a Zero Waste Campus by 2020, which involves sending as little waste to the landfill as possible. Walker said Texas Athletics has helped UT get closer to reaching this goal.
“Athletics gets a huge amount of credit because it really embraces zero waste as a department,” Walker said. “They work with their vendors, so whatever the vendor is going to sell you coming across the counter has already been thought about from a recycling and composting point of view.”
Sustainability studies senior Paige Redsun serves as assistant sustainability coordinator for Texas Athletics and said past events have diverted over 520,180 pounds of trash from landfills.
“Baseball and softball are big events that have the potential to bring a big crowd and generate a lot of trash,” Redsun said. “Events like this are crucial to hitting UT’s zero waste goal.”
Geography junior Samid Mirza is a Green Events project team leader at the Campus Environmental Center and said it’s important to spread the word about recycling and composting.
“I believe that people just aren’t as aware of how easy and important recycling and composting is,” Mirza said. “Events like these can help bring more awareness about the importance of being sustainable and give the general public a better idea of just how easy it is to be in a zero-waste mindset.
Walker said students can help the University be more sustainable by being mindful of how they dispose of waste.
“Recycling, as with turning off the lights or saving water, depends on personal action,” Walker said. “So if you are attending a baseball or softball or football game, take a second and be sure that you are putting the waste material in the right container. That reduces contamination.”
Students interested in volunteering at these events can find more information on the Texas Today: UT Events and Announcements Calendar.