University of Maryland. Feed the Turtle, Aggressive Recycling Program to Make Home Football Games More Earth Friendly

Maryland Athletics is launching an aggressive recycling program for home football games this year, part of a campus-wide initiative to green the university that is spearheaded by President C.D. Mote, Jr.

The new program, "Feed the Turtle," will kick off at the season home opener on Saturday, Aug. 30.

The University of Maryland is working to become a model green university, with efforts underway to reduce waste from campus operations and activities, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption. Campus units are also integrating sustainability into the curriculum and research.

Maryland fans will see the following changes on campus:

  • Custom recycling containers in and around Chevy Chase Bank Field at Byrd Stadium where fans can now recycle bottles and cans and place food waste and biodegradable packaging in compost containers
  • Large recycling containers at stadium entrances to collect bottles and cans
  • Portable recycling and trash containers in tailgating areas, walkways and garages all over campus
  • "Valet recycling" in select parking lots where Athletics will distribute 140,000 recycling and trash liners to tailgaters.

As part of the program, Maryland Concessions will give away 5,000 reusable totes to students and fans at the first home football game to promote the program.

"Maryland Athletics is extremely excited about launching 'Feed the Turtle' as a pilot program for the rest of campus," said Cheryl Levick, Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director. "We are committed to the President's sustainability initiatives and look forward to rolling out the program to 50,000 of the best football fans in the country."

The "Feed the Turtle" recycling program has several objectives:

  • Increase recycling of bottles, cans, and cardboard by 65 percent over the 2007 season
  • Kick off a strong composting program for food/biodegradable packaging by collecting 15 tons of compostable material in the 2008 season
  • Establish baselines by measuring the total quantity of solid waste generated and recycled materials collected during the 2008 football season
  • Estimate the total waste diversion potential if the program is expanded to all Athletic department venues.

In addition to its commitment to waste reduction and recycling, the University of Maryland has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from all campus operations and activities and move toward the goal of carbon neutrality.

President Mote adopted a new strategic plan for the university in May 2008 that includes sustainability as a guiding principle.

For more information on the greening of Maryland, please visit http://www.sustainability.umd.edu.

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