Beaver Stadium Garbage
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The game day recycling program at Beaver Stadium has been a helpful effort to divert recyclables from the landfill, raise money for the Centre County United Way and serve as a model for other stadiums. But not all fans seem to heed the relatively simple message that blue bags are for recyclables and clear bags are for non-recyclable trash. Amy Schirf, education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority, said the blue recycling bags made available to tailgaters in the Beaver Stadium lots often arrive at the recycling processing facility contaminated with non-recyclables, and that was particularly noticeable after the season-opening game Last Saturday. "Most of the blue recycling bags from the PSU tailgate lots are filled with trash," Schirf said. "Many of the blue bags designated for recycling will also contain food, liquid, diapers, bags of dog feces, purses, bags, plastic wrap... really anything that people bring to the tailgates can be found in the recycling bags." Penn State's Office of Physical Plant implemented the recycling effort and is tasked with carrying it out on game days. Ryan McCaughey, OPP's grounds and equipment manager who oversees solid waste management, said his team works closely with CCRRA and has bags audited after every game. "We have found that blue bags are generally 85 percent recycling," he said. In addition to the blue recycling bins found around the stadium and bins inside the stadium, OPP crews put up A-frames around the more than 100 acres of parking lots to dispense recycling and trash bags with information on what goes in which bag. Penn State Athletics and OPP also have re-established the Student Tailgate Ambassadors group, formerly known as STATERS, which walks around to tailgates to distribute bags. "This group is promoting the message of proper bag use and recycling encouragement to fans," said Jeff Nelson, associate athletic director for strategic communications. He added that information on recycling is included twice in the game day guide sent to season ticket holders. McCaughey said more can be done.