USC Facilities Management Services began an initiative at the start of this year to increase recycling during home football games this season but so far has found fans and tailgaters are not using the system.
Big blue recycling bins were rolled out to help encourage people to sort out their own trash, said Daniel Benitez, FMS landscape supervisor.
“We are trying to get people to think about recycling,” Benitez said. “We weren’t getting too [many] results with the cardboard trash cans. It is a process to get people to notice. People just throw their trash where they are standing.”
Linda Chapital, communications manager for FMS, said USC collects on average eight to 10 tons of trash each game but currently has very little success with recycling in particular.
“For the amount of people we have here, we aren’t getting that much in the recycle bins,” Chapital said.
Chapital also said the lack of recycling is partly because members in the community gather most of the recyclables before the trash can reach recycling bins.
Halli Bovia, USC sustainability program manager, said students should take more individual responsibility for their actions.
“There needs to be more of an emphasis on personal responsibility for your personal waste rather than relying on community members to pick up trash,” Bovia said.
Charlotte Mountain, a junior majoring in psychology, said she attempts to recycle at tailgates, but recycling bins are not always readily available.
“I try to recycle, but there aren’t that many recycling bins,” Mountain said. “If there were more recycling bins, I would love to recycle.”
Students agreed they needed to take more initiative and said the university needs to make recycling more readily available on campus, especially at tailgates.
“The university can make it easier by providing more means for students to recycle, but also, students have to take up the responsibility themselves to recycle,” said Richelle Tanner, a freshman majoring in environmental studies and jazz studies.
The Undergraduate Student Government created a new sustainability position to increase student awareness of sustainable practices this year.
“There is now going to be a much larger emphasis on sustainability initiatives and projects around campus,” said Rohan Mehra, USG assistant director of sustainability. “We have about eight projects in the works right now and are meeting with USC Hospitality, the Lyon Center, Transportation and other groups on campus to complete them.”
There are two recycling bins currently in use on game days, one located on the corner of West 35th Place and Trousdale Parkway and the other on West 35th Place and McCarthy Quad, but FMS plans to increase its game day recycling efforts in the future.
“There are just two containers right now but we are looking to try different things,” Benitez said. “[The] Sustainability program has been here for awhile already. Now we are trying to get different trends to go green.”
Kristen Rodgers, a sophomore majoring in broadcast and digital journalism, said recycling at tailgates is a simple task and has a positive environmental impact.
“It is a waste to simply throw away all of those bottles and cans when you could just as easily recycle and create less of a carbon footprint,” Rodgers said.