U-M Zero-Waste Basketball Game a Success

Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services
Release Date: 

Instead of dumping refuse in trash cans at the men's basketball game on Saturday, December 4, 2010, fans were asked to separate items into composting and recycling bins. It was part of a zero waste effort that included using biodegradable cups and utensils in an attempt to send as little material as possible to the landfill.

"This first first-ever Zero Waste Basketball Game at U-M was a great success," says Graduate Student Ryan Smith of the Student Sustainability Initiative, which coordinated the event. "Thousands of people were in attendance, and 62 dedicated volunteers worked diligently to make this sporting event truly an example for other universities to follow.

According to Smith, the following waste was sorted at the event:

137 lbs of Trash
248 lbs of Recycling
192 lbs of Composting

Total lbs. of Waste = 577 lbs

Trash - 23.7%
Recycling - 43.0%
Composting - 33.3%

"We learned a great deal about making U of M sporting events sustainable," Smith says "and we also imparted some useful knowledge to the sports-goers about responsible waste wanagement habits."