On any given Sunday the morning after a University of Michigan home football game, the Big House is crawling with hundreds of volunteers. The mission of the students and families from Father Gabriel Richard High School who show up early in the morning and stay for hours is to round up and sort tons of waste left behind by the crowds at the world’s biggest football stadium.

Recyclable materials go in blue bags, while compostable materials go in green bags. And in case there’s any doubt, the jumbo score boards are lit up with graphics telling what’s recyclable and compostable. Cardboard pizza boxes, aluminum cans and plastic bottles and containers are all recyclable. Food trays, napkins, coffee lids, soda cups, cheese cups and lids, deli wraps, popcorn bags, spoons, forks, knives, straws and food waste are all compostable.

The University of Michigan Athletic Department has an aspirational goal of diverting 90% of the stadium’s waste from landfills, though it’s not quite meeting that yet. Residents interested in learning about the operation were given a peek as part of the Ann Arbor Trash Talk Tour on Sunday, Sept. 19, the morning after the Wolverines defeated Northern Illinois. “Today’s a record. We’re never done this quick,” Associate Athletic Director Paul Dunlop told the group at 9:30 a.m. as 374 volunteers were wrapping up their work and settling in for a Sunday morning church service in the stands.
To read the full story, visit https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2021/09/a-sorted-affair-how-michigan-stadium-waste-gets-recycled-after-a-home-game.html.
Author: Ryan Stanton, MLive.com
Image: Jacob Hamilton, The Ann Arbor News