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Friday, April 12, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium now composting trash on gamedays

Keeping with UF’s mission to be a zero-waste campus by 2015, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is now composting on gamedays.

The University Athletic Association, in partnership with the WCA Waste Corp., now provides labeled composting receptacles where fans can dispose of compostable items. The bins will have pictures designating what products should go where, according to the GatorZone sustainability website. Recycling will still be provided.

“It’s been a good four years of working with our vendors getting compostable materials,” said Brian Barton, director of facilities at the UAA. “There are some products that are very hard to get into a compostable form.”

UF’s Office of Sustainability Gator Green Team will increase staff presence to assist people and eliminate any contamination in the waste stream leaving the stadium, according to the website.

This project is part of President Bernie Machen’s sustainability plan to make UF a zero-waste campus.

“It is a humongous undertaking and a great goal, but I’m sure hopeful we can achieve it,” Barton said.

Instead of going into a landfill, the compost receptacles will be driven from the stadium to Watson C&D, a facility in Gainesville that provides mulches, soils and other landscaping materials from the compost.

Jim Bacom, operations manager of Watson C&D, said the microbial breakdown in the compost is expedited by moisture and heat, and the compost piles can reach up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The compost process takes an average of four months.

“It’s not only good for the environment and the city that we live in, but it’s also an economical way to make a sustainable product,” Bacom said.

Olivia Gerth, a 20-year-old UF criminology and anthropology junior, said she wasn’t sure zero waste was an obtainable goal.

“I don’t know if 2015 is reasonable, but I would say maybe in the next three or four years,” she said.

A version of this story ran on page 8 on 8/30/2013 under the headline "Stadium to start composting"

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