Penn State is working to eliminate the amount of litter that is left behind at tailgates and help tailgaters better utilize the sorted bags for recycling and trash during the next few weeks of the season.
“We’ve come to enlist the help of all Penn State students, fans, and alumni on how to properly dispose of your trash and how to properly recycle at Penn State games,” said Amy Schirf, education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority.
Schirf said the lots are no worse than they have been in past years, but that the athletics department, OPP, the Sustainability Institute, and the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority (all of which are partnering for this effort) are more aware that a stronger push for keeping the lots clean and efficient is needed.
“What’s brought it to light is, after the first game I went to the recycling building and helped the guys sort. I saw the contents of these bags and, to me, it was probably one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen,” Schirf said.
For sorting trash at tailgates, fans are asked to use the bags found on white A-frame stands throughout the tailgate lots — with the blue bags for plastic bottles, glass bottles, and metal cans, while the clear bags are for all other waste. Tailgate Ambassadors will also be available throughout the lots to distribute bags and offer help on how to sort waste and recyclables.
Once your bags are sorted, the bags can be left there and staffers will come pick them up after the tailgate.
Aside from sorting and clearing out waste, fans are asked to not leave behind different items such as grills, tents, stumps, and coolers when they leave the tailgate lots.
“The lots looked better after the Indiana game than it did in the last 12 years. So it’s working,” Schirf said about the initiative. “We just want to tell people to keep it up. Don’t litter at your tailgates. Put all your trash in the clear bags, your recycling in the blue. Securely tie them up and leave them there.”