Stadium recycling program looks to expand

By: 

News Reporter

Photo by: 

Duy Le, sustainability studies graduate student, assembles a bin April 7 for the “Bobcats Go Green” project.

A student-run recycling program hopes to expand efforts for green initiatives after its pilot season in Bobcat Stadium ended.

“Bobcats Go Green” is an initiative that aims to get students more involved with recycling by implementing programs at Texas State football games, said Duy Le, sustainability studies graduate student. Le coordinated the initiative designed to cut down on the amount of trash in and around the stadium by promoting recycling.

“‘Bobcats Go Green’ was originally a recycling program but has evolved into a call to action,” Le said. “Think of ‘Bobcats Go Green’ as a challenge to students to become more environmentally aware about the impact they each have on the planet.”

Bobcat Stadium workers sold more than 8,000 plastic bottled beverages and 6,000 drinks in disposable cups during Texas State’s matchup against Texas Tech in September 2012, according to information provided by Le. At the time, there was not a recycling program in Bobcat Stadium for attendees to utilize and many of the plastic bottles from the game were thrown away instead of recycled.

In February 2013, Le submitted a proposal to the Environmental Services Committee to implement a recycling and composting “zero-waste” program in Bobcat Stadium, said Gwendolyn Hustvedt, associate professor in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences. The President’s Cabinet accepted his proposal in May 2013 on the condition that only recycling would be implemented, Le said.

With the approval, the program received funding from the university’s Environmental Service fee, which costs each student $1 per semester and amounts to $73,000 annually for the university, said Nancy Nusbaum, assistant vice president of Finance and Support Services. Texas State was the first university in the state to have such a fee, according to an April 9, 2013 University Star article.

Le said the program helps make the entire community aware of the recycling effort since football brings the public together. The community can connect by combining football with a green initiative, which will benefit San Marcos, the student body and the environment, Le said.   

The new program, which is currently only in the football stadium, aims to put more recyclable containers in the other sports stadiums.

Hustvedt said she acted as supervisor on the “Bobcats Go Green” project. She said she strongly believes other stadiums need more recycling, and mainly Strahan Coliseum.

“I personally see Strahan as a separate case from our other athletic facilities because it also serves the campus in so many other ways,” Hustvedt said. “The types of containers needed in Strahan would likely be different from those out on the windy ball fields. The coliseum is in use almost year round by students and the public, which means the containers would need a lot more attention.”

In the future, the program looks to expand to all athletic events and hopes to make recycling more fun.

Le said he believes although recycling may be mundane to some students, it will hopefully be more widely accepted throughout campus one day.

“(The) ‘Bobcats Go Green’ program will hopefully become the voice of the environmentally active students on campus,” Le said. “It will communicate the growing demands of an increasingly environmentally conscience student population for many years to come.”