Big Red Has Never Been So Green

Posted 1 year ago

By Robert Lovell

UNLThe University of Nebraska Athletic Department has continued to make great strides becoming greener and more sustainable. In fact, through the first five home football games this fall, efforts have diverted an average of 75% of Stadium waste from the landfill to recycling efforts.  This pace is 15% higher than last year’s 60% average a credit to the mixed solid waste permit and fans using the recycling containers during games. In addition, Nebraska Athletics is proud to announce an agreement with Pinnacle Bank Arena for recycling plans in that venue this winter.

Athletics works closely with Recycling Enterprises, the service that collects the athletics department’s recyclables at Husker home events and year round from offices.  Since teaming up with Recycling Enterprises in 2009, the average recycling rate has steadily increased each year.  UNL Campus Landscaping leads the charge for recycling in parking lot areas with the help of student groups such as UNL Sustain.

The latest recycling initiatives allow the community to get involved. “Go Green for Big Red,” is a campaign where volunteers provide tailgaters recycling bags while student volunteers walk around parking lots to collect recyclables and provide additional recycling containers along walkways. “RecycleMania,” is a recycling competition between universities from across the US. In the recently completed 2013 contest, UNL recycled more than 294,000 pounds of paper, cardboard and plastic to place 3rd.

Husker Athletics facilities maintenance also takes part in the effort to make UNL a greener campus. Husker Athletics facilities have transitioned to all “green” cleaning products in sports centers.  Motion sensors on bathroom lights, energy saving toilet fixtures, and the installation of longer lasting, more efficient light bulbs have significantly increased energy savings.

Recycling Program Established at Pinnacle Bank Arena

Home to Nebraska Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Pinnacle Bank Arena was designed to meet strict energy efficiency and sustainability goals.  Through coordinated efforts with the Mayor’s Office, PBA staff and Athletics, the same recycling program used in Memorial Stadium will be implemented at the new arena. The building was built with high-efficiency systems, recycled building materials and incorporated features into the design that will reduce energy load.

A recycling program was established at PBA with a $150,000 recycling grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.  Husker fans will be able to recycle glass, paper, cans and bottles at multi-container recycling stations.

Go Green for Big Red volunteers appreciates the assistance of students, faculty, staff and the public. For more information, or to volunteer, contact the UNL recycling coordinators at recycling@unl.edu or 402-472-9139.