Waste Diversion for the NFL Draft and Next Steps

This year marked the second year that Roosevelt University partnered with and hosted the National Football League (NFL) annual Draft. There were some main differences between how Roosevelt University (RU) and the NFL approached the Draft this year, compared to last year.

Currently, The Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University does not have a recycling system, the main reason being that we do not have the resources (appropriate recycling receptacles), and such resources have a hefty cost associated when stocking an entire building. The NFL approached RU in order to get acquainted with our waste and recycling procedures at the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, and we quickly realized that we did not want a repeat of last year: all the recycling getting mixed in with waste, and going to a landfill. This prompted us to implement a temporary recycling system in that area during the duration of the NFL Draft, to include load in, the draft itself, and load out. The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Physical Resources, Housekeeping, and Independent Recycling Services (recycling/waste hauler for our Chicago Campus) created a plan to make this happen.

By using a small amount of standard recycling and waste bins (of different sizes), and by strategically placing the bins (example: at security check-points), our temporary recycling plan for this space was successful. The Draft itself spanned three days, and the entire event (to include load in and load out) spanned about two weeks. During that time, were able to divert 7.48 tons of recycling (out of a total 11.52 tons of waste generated) from the landfill! That amounts to a 65% diversion rate which consisted of 4.01 tons of paper, .45 tons of plastic, .47 tons of aluminum, 1.67 tons of cardboard, and .88 tons of metal—all of which got recycled.

To put this in perspective, these recycling efforts conserved the following resources:

  • 26 cubic yards of landfill: enough airspace to meet the disposal needs of a community of 406 people
  • 52,360 gallons of water: enough to meet the fresh water needs of 433 people for a year
  • 29,920 kWh of energy: enough to power 3 homes for a full year
  • 127 trees saved: enough to produce 1,059,662 sheets of copy paper
  • 591 gallons of oil: enough energy to heat and cool 1 home for a full year
  • 449 pounds of unreleased pollutants!

Looking ahead, we will hold a strategic recycling and composting session late this summer and/or early fall. During this session, stakeholders (to include the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, housekeeping, the Wabash Dining Center, Residence Life, our waste/recycling haulers, Conference and Event Services, the Bright Horizons Daycare at Schaumburg, the Gage Building, and the Waste and Natural Resources Action Group (of the Environmental Sustainability Committee)) will be meeting in order to talk about various recycling and composting issues occurring at both of our campuses. From there, we will take what we learn and prioritize on what needs to be done first (strengthening current system, implementing new signage, and acquiring new resources, for example). If you would like to be involved in this session, or if you have any input or suggestions, please email Rebecca Quesnell, Sustainable Operations Coordinator, at rquesnell@roosevelt.edu and/or Tiffany Mucci, Environmental Sustainability Intern, at tmucci@roosevelt.edu.


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One comment on “Waste Diversion for the NFL Draft and Next Steps
  1. rusust says:

    Great example of RU departments and programs collaborating to make a real difference in our waste diversion and recycling efforts. Great job, team!

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