Each year, the Charlotte Chamber Green Works program rewards both a small and a large business the Wells Fargo Green Award.
It is given to businesses that have successfully innovated new products and have sustained their businesses culture. This year, the University of North Carolina Zero Waste Program is a part of the chamber and won the large business award.
The program was nominated to the Charlotte Chamber by Lou Ann Lamb from Auxiliary Services.
Zero Waste Football at UNC Charlotte was initiated by the Charlotte Green Initiative and the Recycling Department to minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills as a result of football games. The planning stages of the program started with the initiation of the football program at UNC Charlotte.
Charlotte Green Initiative took the idea to student government and they voted to support a zero waste program inside of Jerry Richardson Stadium. In order to operate the Zero Waste Program and be successful, it requires a commitment from the University, athletics, volunteers, managing departments, food service, students, stadium management and Charlotte fans.
Their first trial run for the Zero Waste Program was during the Spring football game
Devin Hatley, Environmental Educator with the Facilities Management said, “creating the Zero Waste football program has been a big accomplishment. It has required many people from many different areas working together to achieve that success.”
Most of the material collected during football games was able to be recycled or sent to Earth Farms for composting. The program does not currently have official numbers for the year, but between 85 and 90 percent of the waste generated was able to be recycled or composted
The goal of the program is to minimize the amount of waste going to the landfill and to create a positive example for the surrounding Charlotte community and other stadiums throughout the country. The program’s goals are similar to a mission held at UNC Charlotte, which is to be a good steward of the environment.
“We wouldn’t be able to operate the program without volunteers. ” said Hatley. “It’s important that we have them stationed at the bins to educate and assist fans about the program and help them get their waste in the correct bin. I especially want to thank UNC Charlotte ROTC for their service and committing to volunteer for every game.”