Widgets Magazine

Ready, set, go — green

Cyrus Pinto ’13 will take a literal approach to trash-talking while he hops between tailgates at Saturday’s football showdown against USC. Accompanied by 12 student volunteers, Pinto will implement the first recycling initiative at pre-game events around Stanford Stadium and spread

ERIC KOFMAN/The Stanford Daily

awareness about proper garbage disposal.

Pinto, a member of Students for Sustainable Stanford (SSS), is heading a

bottle and can collection on Saturday as part of an initiative to make Stanford athletics more eco-friendly. While the planning for this particular event began last summer, Athletics turned over a new leaf in 2008.

The University’s athletics department competed against 61 applicants for a $120,000 grant from the state’s Department of Conservation (CalRecycle). Twelve other schools and organizations received financial assistance, totaling $1.5 million, as part of the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Program.

“The goal of the program is to increase recycling of CRV beverage containers by providing education on recycling at Stanford athletic facilities,” wrote Janine Corcoran, accounts executive for Cardinal Sports, LLC, in an e-mail to The Daily.

Stanford’s CalRecycle initiative, intended to run throughout the entire 2008 football season, was temporarily put on hold because of the state’s financial crisis. The grant was reopened midway through the 2009 football season, giving Athletics time to revive the program with recycling promotions at the end of that season, as well as for baseball and softball games.

Projects aimed solely at collection were in the works since 2004, with recycling bins at the football stadium. Stanford Athletics, Cardinal Sports and Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc. (PSSI) have since placed bins at the soccer, baseball and softball stadiums.

But in 2008, “we still felt there was a need to educate our fans on recycling and remind them to recycle at games,” Corcoran said.

The grant will allow for receptacles at all facilities, covering a total of 350 events and garnering recyclables from more than one million attendees. Bins have already been purchased for use at the Sunken Diamond, the softball field and Maloney Field, which also features reminders on the PA systems during soccer games.

On Saturday, SSS members will be talking to fans at the largest tailgate events and will also man a booth inside the stadium from the 5 p.m. kick-off until 7:00 p.m. for anyone who is interested in learning more about sustainability.

Pinto is hoping that the sheer presence of bins at the smaller tailgates will be enough of a motivator for fans to recycle their bottles and cans.

Even though Pinto has only two and a half hours to cover the major tailgate areas with 12 volunteers, he seems confident they can accommodate the inevitably large crowd that will arrive for the Stanford-USC game.

“We’ve had to deal with thousands of people before, and this is definitely going to be a challenge,” Pinto said. But “it’s a pilot program, and we don’t expect everything to be perfect,” he added. “What we hope is that we could divert the largest amount of bottles and cans.”