Tailgating Goes Green at FSU

Students Recycling at FSU Tailgate

Saturdays in Tallahassee, for a lot of people, are usually dedicated to two things: football and tailgating (or a combination of both). But for a small group of FSU students their Saturday's are also dedicated to recycling. Every home game 30 to 50 volunteers meet hours before the game starts and collect recyclable beverage containers from thousands of fans. These students are a part of the Garnet and Gold Goes Green (G4) recycling program, a sustainability initiative that was created to decrease the amounts of litter and trash left around Doak Campbell Stadium, during and after home football games.

Student volunteers meet at Gate D of the stadium two hours before kick-off. From there they greet FSU fans and offer to collect their recyclable bottles and cans. After making the rounds around the stadium the volunteers head to various stadium gates and collect bottles and cans from fans as they enter the stadium.

The process is both simple and well received according to G4 coordinator, Ashley Mancuso.

"We prep our volunteers to talk to fans and equip them with sanitary gloves and recycling bags," Mancuso said. "Then we divide up into teams and go out collect recyclable cans and bottles from fans, giving large parties clear bags that they can use to put recycling in. We usually receive a massive amount of positive feedback that fuels our hard work and positivity."

In addition to giving back to the University, students also have the opportunity to get to know new students and organizations, according to Dominique Kelly, a senior Criminology and Psychology major. "I enjoyed interacting with FSU fans before the football game," Kelly said. "It was great to be able to do that while also maintaining the beauty of the university."

The G4 program was started in 2005, through a joint partnership between Tri Eagle sales and the FSU Center for Leadership and Social Change. Over the past ten seasons that the program has been around, students have collected over 162 tons of recyclable material.

According to Mancusco, most tailgaters offer enthusiastic support.

"The program has been around for 10 years so many of the fans recognize the team and are thankful of their efforts," Mancuso said. "We usually collect a few tons of material each game – a combination of the volunteers, bins, and other behind the scenes recycling work."

Garnet & Gold Goes Green is a program within Sustainable Campus that is supported by its partners FSU Athletics, FSU Solid Waste and Recycling. Seminole Dining and Coca-Cola also sponsor the program. Students interested in volunteering with the G4 program can email Ashley Mancuso at recycling@fsu.edu