Home Football Opener Kicks Off Record-Setting Recycling Season

As Georgia Tech’s football team prepares for its season opener Saturday, another team prepares for the flood of fans and alumni who will come to campus in anticipation of the moment when toe meets leather in Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Gameday Recycling Bags
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Blue bags are distributed to tailgates around campus on gamedays and used to collect recyclables. 

The Gameday Recycling team kicks off its sixth season with the Yellow Jackets’ home opener against Elon University this weekend, returning with its trademark blue bags for 40,000 tailgaters to use to dispose of their recyclables.

“Now when our volunteers go out to hand out the bags, people are familiar with the program and looking out for us,” said Cindy Jackson, associate director in the Office of Solid Waste Management and Recycling (OSWMR).

The day before every home game, OSWMR staff get to work setting receptacles around the stadium to collect recyclables. On game day, volunteers walk the campus to give tailgaters large blue bags for disposal of plastics, glass and aluminum. Volunteers ask that fans leave their blue bags at their tailgates, where they are later collected and taken for sorting.

Those who participate in using the blue bags are eligible to be highlighted as the Green Tailgater of the Game on the video board in Bobby Dodd Stadium. OSWMR staff look for fans going above and beyond to create a green tailgate experience, paying attention to details such as use of recycled goods, reusable utensils and, of course, blue bag recycling.

“Everyone wants to be on that screen,” Jackson said.

Volunteers also man gates at the stadium itself to collect recyclables that fans have in-hand as they enter. Since the program’s inception, the Gameday Recycling team has diverted 99.2 tons of recyclables from landfills and will surpass the 100-ton mark on Saturday.

“We’re excited to start off our season hitting the 100-ton mark,” Jackson said. "We want recycling to become so ingrained into the athletic experience that it’s part of the tradition.”

Volunteers are needed to hand out blue bags and greet fans at the stadium. As a thank you, they are provided lunch or a voucher for stadium concessions and receive a free T-shirt. Those interested can sign up at www.recycle.gatech.edu/volunteer.

For those tailgating or attending games, simply look for volunteers distributing blue bags and use yours to separate trash from recyclable materials.

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