Sustainability Department looks to make Herd vs. Ohio ‘green’

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The Sustainability Department will have a waste-free event during the Marshall University vs. Ohio University football game Sept. 14. Waste will be collected during the tailgate period until halftime and will be sorted as trash or recyclable, weighed and recorded.

The setup will be on the parking lot outside of the Joan C. Edwards stadium and near the student entrances. 

Amy Parsons-White, sustainability manager at Marshall, ia is involved in the process of bringing the event together and promoting the importance of sustainability throughout campus and the methods that should be used to properly dispose of waste.

“It’s very easy to just throw something in a trash can and not think about where it’s going,” Parsons-White said. “During an event such as a football game that generates so much waste, we decided to set up on the parking lot so people will see us and the work that we do.”

The Sustainability Department will be working with Zero Waste Event Productions company, based in Ohio, to bring the waste-free event into fruition. The Zero Waste Event Productions company goes to events such as music festivals and sporting events to teach those in attendance how to make it waste-free. 

The relationship with Marshall came from the university becoming a member of the reuse corridor roughly one year ago and building partnerships with other entities, businesses and universities from Ohio to North Carolina that work together to be green.

Tyler Bonner, the chief executive officer of Zero Waste Event Productions, said there was an email introduction between him and Parsons-White about the potential of a project during a Marshall home game.

Volunteers are encouraged to reach out and support this waste-free initiative. Any member of the community, Marshall student body, faculty and staff will be welcomed. Organizers are looking for assistance with gathering trash and sorting it on a conveyor belt. 

“We hope to show you all the ropes and show our system and how we manage it,” Bonner said. “It’s particularly important to make a partnership with Marshall and the football stadium because there is a lot of potential, not just from this one event. I hope it brings into motion sustainability that the school can continue to run with.”

Apart from the gathering and sorting of waste, Parsons-White said the main goal of the event is to raise awareness.

“We’re hoping that it will be an educational event for not just the Marshall community, but the community in general,” Parsons-White said. “This is the first time we’ve done a recycling event of this scale. I think the key is that we’re having professionals who do this for a living come in and show us how to properly manage waste.”

Those who are interested in volunteering may find more information about upcoming meetings and details by emailing [email protected] 

Olayinka Bamiro can be contacted at [email protected]

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