When the men’s basketball game against Harvard is over tonight, don’t forget to recycle or compost your waste.
The Athletic Eco-Reps are turning the Palestra green by hosting a “zero-waste” game. This means “all materials from vendors inside the Palestra [will be] recyclable or compostable,” said Athletic Eco-Rep and College senior Shannon Macika . In fact, there won’t be any trash bins in the Palestra at all.
Waste would only go in a landfill if it became contaminated, Eco-Reps Program Coordinator and College junior Sara Allan said.
This event has been in the works since the beginning of the school year, Macika said. The Athletic Eco-Reps have been planning this in conjunction with staff from Green Campus Partnership, PennAthletics, the Green Sports Alliance and Palestra vendors such as Aramark.
Earlier this year, the Athletic Eco-Reps hosted several “waste-awareness” games, but this is the first zero-waste event. For Homecoming last semester, Quakerfest was also zero-waste. The first zero-waste athletics event was a basketball game in 2011.
Zero-waste events at Penn are now possible because of the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center that opened in 2009. Prior to that, there was no place to send food waste, Julian Goresko , sustainability associate director for Facilities and Real Estate Services, said in an email.
This event on Friday is part of the Eco-Reps’ goal to transition the Palestra to a full-time zero-waste facility, pending the success of this game.
The Eco-Reps have also teamed up with Penn Rewards to promote sustainability awareness. The first 50 people to check in at the Eco-Reps Table at the Palestra will receive a free water bottle, and Penn Rewards is giving out double the Rewards points for all who complete the Eco-Reps survey.