Living Columns & Blogs

Tailgating season is almost here. Spread the word about proper game day recycling

Is a mixed message being sent about tailgating?
Is a mixed message being sent about tailgating? Centre Daily Times, file

If last fall was any indication, all eyes will soon be on the recycling at our football tailgates this year. As most folks may remember, the blue bags at last season’s games for recycling were full of trash and unwanted items. This caused quite a stir and sparked us to revisit our education program and game day recycling practices. I am starting my Game Day Recycling Education Campaign today.

We are making it super easy for folks to recycle at upcoming football tailgate parties. Once you settle in at your tailgate spot, walk over to an A-Frame labeled for PSU Football Recycling. The A-Frames contain two colors of bags (blue bags for recycling plastic bottles, glass bottles and aluminum cans — and clear bags for trash). We did make some changes this year to make it easier to recycle. We are only collecting plastic bottles, glass bottles and metal cans for recycling in the blue bags (we are no longer taking paper for recycling at the tailgates).

Once you fill your blue bags with bottles and cans, just tie up the bag and leave it at your tailgate. Do the same with your clear trash bag. The grounds crew will begin collecting blue and clear bags the morning after the game. Clear bags will go to the landfill and the blue bags will be delivered to the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority where the contents will be sorted and recycled.

To sort the recyclables, employees of CCRRA will open each bag by hand and empty the contents on our sorting conveyor belt. They will then sort the materials from the bags by hand into the following categories: plastic bottles, clear glass bottles, green glass bottles, brown glass bottles and metal cans. The recyclables will then be prepared and sent to market to be made into new products.

This would be a relatively easy process if the blue bags only contain plastic bottles, glass bottles and metal cans. It is not as easy when the blue bags also contain trash (hence, my reason for writing this column).

And with my readers helping to spread the word, I hope blue bag recycling material will come into our facility much cleaner this season.

So, readers, please help me to educate your friends and family on proper recycling at football tailgates this fall. I know that as a community we can do this!

Amy Schirf is education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority. Contact her at aschirf@centrecounty