University of Arizona sustainability students visit ASU Sun Devil Stadium

The rivals are working to enhance sustainability efforts

In the wake of 35-56 loss to the Wildcats, ASU and UA demonstrate how rivals can turn into partners when it comes to sustainability.

Students and staff from UA visited the Sun Devil Stadium on Nov. 10 to see what efforts ASU has taken to make their stadium more sustainable.

Julia Rudnick, UA campus sustainability program coordinator, organized the visit to ASU, finding it to be an excellent opportunity for their potential stadium renovation.

“(UA) is talking about renovating our stadium as well,” Rudnick said. “Just to get an idea of the procedures that ASU uses at their football stadium, we thought it was an exciting opportunity.”

Some of the things that the UA students and staff found interesting were the compost and recycle bins and the zero waste cup that ASU uses.

“I think that one of the strengths that you all have is that your new bins, the bins that they invested in in the new stadium, are really cool.” Rudnick said. “Half of the battle of getting people to compost and recycle is really having good bins, so that was kind of fun to check out.”

According to Alana Levine, assistant director of Zero Waste, the zero waste bins were part of stadium renovation and have made it much easier for fans to be a part of the zero waste initiative.

The bins are tailored to be appealing to the fans, with bright clear labels that use pictures from what is sold at concession stands in the stadium.

“One of the biggest things in the newly renovated areas of the stadium, are the brand new beautiful bins that we call public facing or for the fans to use.” Levine said. “They have the two streams with very clear labeling and we used bright labeling on the backs of the bins so it’s easy for fans to look at the labels.”

The cup was implemented in fall 2016 with the hope of reducing ASU’s plastic footprint at the athletic venues.

It costs students $12 and can be refilled for free at any ASU sports venue for the rest of the school year.

“You can buy the cup once, and you can use it for the entire year and get free refills,” Levine said. “It’s actually really cool.”

Michael Beauregard, UA philosophy, politics, economics and law sophomore, is a member of the green team and participated in the visit. 

He found the most interesting part of the visit was learning how ASU made sustainability a campus wide priority involving not just students but staff as well.

“Here at the UA anything that’s aimed at sustainability is usually student-oriented or headed by students,” Beauregard said. “I just wanted to see personally, how a system that has a top down approach works out.”

Although ASU and UA are known for their rivalry, both Levine and Rudnick said they feel that there’s no place for rivalry when it comes to sustainability.

“Just to get anything done it takes so much,” Rudnick said. “I’m always thrilled to be working with ASU, we’re all on the same team, and we’re all in the same boat as far as what’s going on in our planet.”


Reach the reporter at bmchugh4@asu.edu or follow @blakelymchugh on Twitter.

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