By Stephany Kirby of Nevada Today
On Sept. 15, Wolf Pack Football fans cheered on their beloved team in the stands of Mackay Stadium as the team beat Northwestern State, 45-34. When the game was over, those fans headed home to celebrate another Wolf Pack victory, but one group of University of Nevada, Reno students gathered after the fourth quarter and remained in the stadium, donating their Saturday night cleaning up the celebration.
That was the first time the Nevada-Alpha chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity was given safety vests, gloves and collection bags, with the purpose of cleaning up recycling from Mackay Stadium, and they have been doing it every home game since.
The Wolf Pack Recycling program, a program that provides recycling services to the University of Nevada, Reno campus, approached the fraternity at the beginning of the school year and asked them to donate their community service hours to this cause.
“We are trying to build a ‘greening’ of Mackay Stadium,” John Sagebiel, manager of the University’s Environmental Affairs at Environmental Health and Safety, said. “On a given day, you can have up to 20,000 people in one stadium and those people make a big impact. What we do is try to look at the concept of the effect the campus has overall on the environment, and this is one of those places where I think we can make a positive, immediate impact.”
The task includes collecting the recyclable items in the stadium and emptying the 13 portable recycling bins that are placed throughout the stadium area. The bins, used for the first time this season, were purchased with grant money from the U.S. Department of Energy for expansion of sustainable practices on campus. The bins collect a total of about 50 pounds of recycling per game.
Over the course of 119 total volunteer hours, 1,073 pounds of trash has been recovered from the last four home football games. After each game, it has taken nearly 20 men two hours to collect this large number of bottles.
Mike Ufford, analyst at Wolf Pack Recycling and Phi Delta Theta member, explained each pound is about 17 bottles, which would mean the fraternity has collected more than 18,000 bottles over the course of four home games.
Once the trash has been collected, the men take it to the Wolf Pack Recycling garage for processing Money made from the bottles helps support the University’s recycling program.
“It’s refreshing and rewarding to be involved with Greek Life and to offer such positive benefits to this campus,” Riley Snyder, public relations chairman for Phi Delta Theta, said. “Whether it’s Phi Delta Theta’s recycling program, or any other philanthropic event held by a Greek organization, it goes to show how immensely beneficial Greek Life can be to not only this University, but to collegiate life in general.”
The men of Phi Delta Theta plan to be in the stands after this Saturday’s last home game against Boise State, rain or shine.