Thanks to a waste reduction program piloted this year, the Michigan Stadium’s compostable garbage for a home game was redirected to the student-staffed Campus Farm by the Mattaei Botanical Gardens. The program implemented for the Nov. 4 Purdue game brought at least two tons of compost to the farm at 1800 N. Dixboro Road in northeast Ann Arbor, said the program’s manager Alison Richardson of the university’s Office of Campus Sustainability.

The stadium’s compost consists of food items, as well as compostable containers, such as cups, trays, napkins and pizza boxes. The garbage is collected at the stadium, separated by contractors to remove recyclable items such as plastic bottles, and the compost is sent to the farm, Richardson said. The Ann Arbor campus produces more than 1,100 tons of compost each year, Richardson said.

The program aims to not only point hundreds of thousands of eyeballs to the university’s zero-waste goals, but also to provide nutrients for the farm as a living-learning lab for students, Richardson said. “The stadium is a really visible way to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and also introduce the concept of zero waste to a lot of people who may not be familiar with it coming to the stadium,” she said.
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Author: Samuel Dodge,
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