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    PEELER: Help NC State Trash The Competition

    RALEIGH, N.C. – Don't throw anything recyclable away Saturday before, during or after NC State's home football game against Duke.

    Instead, by recycling as many bottles and cans as possible, NC State can beat out seven other selected schools in the Environmental Protection Agency's inaugural Recycling Challenge, to see which football stadium can produce the least amount of waste during a home football game.

    NC State, which has a long-standing recycling program at Carter-Finley Stadium, was chosen as the ACC's representative among the eight schools in the contest. The others are Auburn (SEC), Brigham Young (Mountain West), Harvard (Ivy League), Ohio University (Mid-America Conference), Colorado (Big 12), Michigan (Big 10), West Virginia (Big East).

    It's a pilot program to reduce waste on game days, similar to the EPA's "Recycle Mania" competition on campuses across the country.

    NC State, partnering with Raleigh-based Waste Industries, Inc., has been on the forefront of game-day recycling since the inception of the "We Recycle" program in 2003 to collect recyclables in the stadium and in the parking lots. Over the last seven football seasons, more than 112 tons of recyclable bottles and cans have been collected at Carter-Finley Stadium.

    "This is one of the longest-running stadium recycling programs in the country," said Analis Fulghum, Education and Outreach Coordinator of the NC State Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling. "And our fans have done a great job of supporting it."

    On a typical game-day, thousands of bottles are pitched into the recycling bins around the parking lots and inside the 57,583-seat stadium. That amounts to a week's worth of recyclables collected from students, faculty and staff on campus, Fulghum said.

    So far this season, Wolfpack fans have been more diligent about putting bottles and cans - which are now banned in Wake County landfills - in their proper places. In four home games, nearly 14 tons of recyclables have been collected, a 24 percent increase over the same number of games last year.

    So, even though most Wolfpack fans already are accustomed putting recyclables in the proper place, here are a few reminders, from the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling:

    • Tailgaters should bring a separate bag for cans and bottles.
    • Put all recyclables in or near a We Recycle bin or give to a We Recycle volunteer.
    • Can't find a bin near your tailgate spot? Take bagged recyclables to the bins placed at each entry gate or find bins on the way to the stadium.
    • Remind others to do their part.
    • Inside the stadium, look for bins throughout the concourses. Do not leave recyclables on the ground or under seats - they will not be recycled!

    Results from this week's game will be posted here next week.

    You may contact Tim Peeler at



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