Green Gridirons: Purdue University

A football stadium may have green grass but does it have green habits? Each week, Great Lakes Echo highlights a Big Ten football stadium’s attempts to do the most to impact the environment the least.

All schools have information on the stadium’s diversion rate – the amount of waste recycled instead of put in a landfill.

Photo: Purdue University.

Photo: Purdue University.

Stadium: Ross-Ade Stadium

School: Purdue University

Built: 1924

Capacity: 62,500

2012 diversion rate: 18 percent.

Scouting report: The university’s sustainability program received a $120,000 grant in 2012 to focus on tailgate recycling and diverting waste from landfills, said Michael Gulich, director of sustainability at the university.

On game days, the diversion rate increased from five percent at the start of the season, to 18 percent at the last, said Gulich. This year’s goal is to reach a 50 percent diversion rate.

The increase in diversion rate is mainly due to students giving out bags to fans for recycling and educating them about the benefits, said Gulich.

“After (the fans) interacted with us for two or three games in a row they knew the routine,” said Gulich.

The sustainability program also awards scholarships at the end of the football season to student volunteers by selecting the best essays written about future improvements to the project, said Gulich.

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