October 18, 2012

Zero Waste Ambassadors are down with recycling

Posted: October 18, 2012
A group of students pose in a semicircle.
Members of Outlaw Comedy become Zero Waste Ambassadors before ASU home football games to spread the word about recycling and the university's zero waste by 2015 goal.
Zero Waste Ambassadors talk with Sun Devil Stadium tailgaters about the benefits of recycling and the university's zero waste by 2015 goal.

Sun Devil Stadium tailgaters may have spoken with small student groups roaming around before recent home ASU football games. These students are not there primarily as sports revelers, but zero waste ambassadors. Outfitted in “Zero Waste by 2015” emblazoned black T-shirts, their mission is simple; to educate football fans about the university’s 2015 zero waste goal.

“Achieving the university’s zero waste goal is something that requires well-engineered, back-of-the-house recycling and waste disposal operations, as well as ASU community involvement to recycle, and to avert and divert waste headed to local landfills,” said Nick Brown, director of university sustainability practices at ASU.

The zero waste ambassadors assemble in five teams of three students each before each ASU home football game and then make the rounds to tailgating areas adjacent to Sun Devil Stadium.

According to information provided by the university sustainability practices group, the ambassadors so far have pitched more than 2,700 tailgaters before three home football games about the benefits of recycling and boosted awareness about ASU’s 2015 zero-waste goal.

Talking to people at random is not a hindrance for these roving recycling heralds. The zero waste ambassadors hail from Outlaw Comedy. The comedy group exists to gather college students together for comedy events that connect them with each other and local communities of faith.

Becoming zero waste ambassadors began as a fundraising idea for the group. University sustainability practices funds the ambassadors for their zero-waste messaging efforts at ASU tailgates.

“The zero waste ambassadors provide a direct, person-to-person message that is an invaluable communications tool,” said Betty Lombardo, manager of university sustainability practices at ASU. “We appreciate them helping us to spread the word about zero waste in an ‘arena’ that is now within our reach.”

The zero waste ambassadors will continue to make the rounds at tailgating events before the remaining home football games at Sun Devil Stadium. Visit the zero waste web page for additional information about how to help ASU achieve its zero waste goal by 2015.

Wendy Craft, wendy.craft@asu.edu
ASU Business and Finance