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Zero Waste Game Day

What is Zero Waste Game Day?

UT Recycling partners with UT Athletics, Aramark, UT’s Office of Sustainability, and Eastman’s Good Sports Always Recycle program to make game days at Neyland Zero Waste. Our goal? Keep at least 90% of waste produced at home sporting events out of the landfill through recycling, composting, and food donation.

Waste at Football Games

Vol fans know that Neyland Stadium is a sacred space. But sometimes it gets treated like a trash can.

Last season, home football games produced more than 23 tons of landfill waste per game on average. That means as Vols, we sent 162 tons of waste to already overflowing landfills over the course of the season.

What’s more, most of the items that get tossed could be recycled or composted.

Our Efforts

The Tennessee Volunteers want to do better, and it’s possible!

READ MORE:  How this year’s Super Bowl stadium managed to dramatically reduce waste

During our best ever season in 2015, we diverted 66% of waste from the landfill.

You can find the Waste Warriors at every home football game collecting recycling at tailgates, monitoring bins outside the stadium, helping fans recycle, and handing out buttons.

Our game day activities include:

Get Caught Green HandedFootball Signed by Jeremy Pruitt

We want to celebrate Vols who are doing their part to Make Orange Green!

Snap a picture of yourself or a friend recycling and share it with us on social media with the hashtag #volsrecycle for the chance to win a football signed by head coach Jeremy Pruitt.


Zero Waste Outreach

Football games are a great opportunity to inform the community what and how to recycle. You can find us talking to fans and handing out buttons at our booth in Vol Village.



Rocky Top Recycling

gameday recycling containerAll fans entering tailgating areas will receive a green bag for recycling and a clear plastic bag for landfill waste. The more recycling you have, the better! UT earns money for recycling some materials but must pay to have trash disposed. Recycling around Rocky Top helps divert waste from landfills and keeps Vol dollars right here in Big Orange Country.

There are 8 recycling dumpsters spread throughout designated tailgating areas with zero waste volunteers to help coordinate the disposal of recycling and landfill waste. Tailgaters are responsible for bringing their full bags to the recycling dumpsters before or after the game.

Green Bag: Recyclables

If it looks like plastic, recycle it!

  • Aluminum cans
  • Plastic bottles
  • Steel cans
  • Clean paper products
  • Beverage boxes
  • *Cardboard boxes

Clear Bag: Landfill Waste

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, then landfill.

  • Food waste
  • Paper plates and cups
  • Foils and wraps
  • Cardboard/take out boxes with food contamination
  • Styrofoam
  • Glass Bottles

*Please flatten any corrugated cardboard before placing in the recycling dumpsters.