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Grove aims to improve recycling on game days

The Office of Sustainability is getting ready to kick off its new recycling campaign for the upcoming football season. Students that volunteer to help promote the Green Grove program will be rewarded with prime seating. According to Assistant Director of Office Sustainability Anne McCauley, the Grove and Circle produced 435 tons of garbage last year. McCauley said that only four tons of that garbage was recycled, a number that she and the Sustainability Office wish to improve.
“I think we’ve made it really easy this year for people to participate in our game day recycling,” McCauley said.
Last year, Grovers had to take their recyclables to a tent to drop them off following the game. This year, tailgaters will also have the option to leave their bag of recyclables where their tailgates are located to be picked up by the landscaping crew.
The recycling bags will be different from the black bags set up in the trash cans. These clear bags can be found at two dispensing stations: One is in the Circle near the Confederate soldier statue, and one is in the Student Union Plaza.
Among the other trash cans in the Grove and Circle will be 300 recycling bins. This is an increase of the nearly 200 bins they had last year, according to McCauley.
The game day volunteers sign up on a week by week basis. The volunteers’ job is to promote recycling by covering every tent in the Grove and Circle to spread the word. Game Day Director Kay Kay Derossette also believes the increase in volunteer efforts will help them increase the amount of waste recycled.
From 2009 to 2010, the amount of waste recycled increased by two tons. They hope that increasing the number of volunteers will help them for the 2012 campaign.
“Last year we only did one big group volunteer project,” Derossette said. “This year we’re getting volunteers for every game to promote and educate tailgaters.”
This is important for the Sustainability Office to educate the tailgaters because they often run into problems when recycling.
“Our biggest problem is that we get a lot of food,” McCauley said. “If there’s food in the bag, then almost the whole bag is tossed.
McCauley said they are looking for plastic bottles and aluminum. They want to stress to Grovers that Solo Cups cannot be recycled.
The Sustainability Office has a new perk they believe will get more volunteers.
“The volunteers that work for two hours before the game will get special reserved seating at the front of the student section,” McCauley said.
They can accommodate up to 75 seats total, but McCauley said they are looking for about 50 volunteers per game. Organizations that sign up as a group also have a special perk. They will have their organization recognized during the game each week. McCauley and Derrossette credit the idea of prime seating to Associate Athletics Director for Facilities and Operations Joe Swingle.
The Sustainability Office’s goals will change based on the support they receive.
“We depend on volunteer support to make our success happen,” McCauley said.
Anyone interested in volunteering can email greengrove@olemiss.edu. For more information visit olemiss.edu/greengrove.