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Carter-Finley: Red, White and Green

Boston College visits NC State at Carter-Finley stadium Saturday October 11, 2014. (Photo by Jack Tarr)

When NC State’s football team scores touchdowns this fall at Carter-Finley Stadium, Wolfpack fans will be moving the chains toward creating a zero-waste season.

Composting has been available the last two spring games, but this marks the first time it will be offered for a full football season.
Composting has been available the last two spring games, but this marks the first time it will be offered for a full football season.

NC State athletics and NC State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Office have partnered to add stadium composting bins, which will be used to collect food waste and other organic material from each game. This waste will be recycled into compost, a nutrient-rich soil amendment that is used to grow plants, flowers and trees.

The new gray-and-green compost bins will be located next to landfill and recycling bins in the stadium when the season kicks off on Sept. 5 against Troy. Student volunteers will be available to help sort leftover food or food-related paper goods, such as pizza boxes and paper plates, into compost bins. Since this is a pilot program, the compost bins are only available on the stadium concourse, meaning any items left in the stands cannot be composted.

Compost collected at the game will be combined with other campus food-related waste, including pizza boxes from residence halls and food waste from dining facilities, and transported to NC State alumna-owned Brooks Contractor, where it’s processed and sold as soil amendment in landscaping projects.

What You Can Compost

Look for the gray bin with green lid

  • All leftover food such as pizza, hot dogs, funnel cakes, lemons, peanut shells, nachos
  • Food-related paper such as pizza boxes, popcorn boxes, paper plates, napkins, paper condiment cups, wax paper
What You Can Recycle

Look for the red bin with white lid (or the blue bins with white lids in tailgating areas)

  • Plastic bottles
  • Cans
  • Plastic stadium cups
  • Flyers and posters
  • Cardboard (clean and free of all food waste)
What You Should Landfill

Look for the gray bin without a lid

  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic lemonade cups
  • Peanut bags, wrappers and condiment packets
  • Chick-Fil-A sandwich bags
  • Plastic trays
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic utensils

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  1. Would it be possible to hand out two paper/plastic bags to each fan at the point of entering one’s section? Or hand the bags at the point the fans buy food? Each bag would have a list of what should be put inside. Fans can do the recycling and composting more conviently at their seats …where the items are produced…rather than “saving” the items and remembering to take back up to the concourse, or throwing under the seats. Carrying a bag of garbage up the steps and dropping into a bin might work….it would already be separated. Even if they left the filled bags in the statium, those bags could be retrieved at clean up of the statium.

    Making this “effort”, “effortless” may be worth the “effort”!

    Applauding this initiative.. Would love to see some stats on amts collected last night.

    Thanks so much for leading the way!

  2. Hi Tom! Great Questions! I work in the Waste Reduction & Recycling Office at NC State and wanted to give you some answers.

    Plastic trays or plastic clamshell containers – these are typically covered in food waste at the stadium and we don’t have a way to wash them out, so it’s best to throw them away in that setting.

    Plastic bags – are recyclable but only if done separately. Plastic bags can get caught in the equipment at the recycling center.

    Plastic utensils – this one is more a matter of size. Utensils are just so small that they are hard to catch on recycling sorting lines, so most of the time they end up as residual waste.

    Feel free to email us at if we can help answer any questions.

  3. Awesome!!! NC State leading the way! But, I don’t understand why plastic trays, plastc bags, and plastic utensils can’t be recycled???

  4. This is a great idea. I hope the fans will participate and do it properly by not putting trash items in the compost or recycling bins.