Many people hold the idea of recycling in high regard. They believe that recycling not only cuts down on costs, but that it positively affects the environment and helps provide for a cleaner living area. The same can be said about many JMU students and supporters, who also feel strongly about the positive aspects of recycling. During tailgating hours before the first home football game of the year, JMU fans were able to take advantage of recycling efforts that were put in place by a few student- athletes in conjunction with JMU Facilities Management.
The Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability worked with JMU Athletics and Facilities Management to put on a recycling event during tailgate hours before the first home football game. Student-athletes from men's golf, lacrosse, and swimming and diving were set up with a representative from facilities management. They were given trash and recycling bags and spread out among the different tailgating sites on campus. There, they passed out the bags to anyone who was tailgating that needed them.
John Ventura, who is the assistant director for the operations staff with the facilities management department, said, "Facilities Management Recycling has been actively recycling at football games and other athletic venues for several years. We have constantly updated procedures year after year to keep up with the growth of the football program and the associated tailgating numbers as well as concession products."
The participation of student-athletes assisting with the recycling efforts stemmed from a mutual idea between JMU Athletics and Facilities Management. Ventura said, "Over the past couple years I have tried to get students to help participate with the handing out of bags at each lot and get involved. Facilities Management felt like student involvement would help them be part of a game day operation and the overall efforts of JMU in the recycle efforts."
He went on to say how up until now, these efforts have lacked success. This year, however, things changed as Coordinator of Promotions and Spirit Kelly Moore teamed up with Ventura and the rest of facilities management to have three sports teams help out with handing out recycling bags before the start of the first home game.
A few of the athletes who were involved this past weekend were able to share their thoughts on recycling and the event that they participated in. Senior defender for the women's lacrosse team Amanda Mathews said, "When I'm at home I recycle everything that I can. However, when I get back to JMU there is no option to recycle in the neighborhoods that we live in. I feel the motivation to recycle when there is not an accessible and convenient way to do it."
In regards to the reception they received by tailgaters, senior men's golfer Ryan Vince said, "The fans at the tailgate responded very positively to our efforts. They gladly accepted the trash and recycling bags (if needed) and thanked us for the help." All of the athletes who participated felt that recycling is indeed important to them and should be practiced more often by those within the JMU community.