Photo by Kelly Mosier

Big Red is Going Green

By NU Athletic Communications

Recycling Tips

Big Red is going green! The University of Nebraska Athletic Department has increased recycling efforts and continues to take great pride in improving efficiency efforts on the University's campus and at all athletic events.  Anyone can help simply by putting recyclables in the green bags.

The Go Green for Big Red 2012 effort had 31 volunteers contribute around 70 hours of volunteer hours to help us save more than 1200 lbs of recyclables from entering the landfill. Go Green for Big Red is an ongoing effort, and we ask everyone to do their part. On game days, simply look for the green bags. Whether you're tailgating around Memorial Stadium or enjoying the game inside Memorial Stadium, please place all recyclables in the green bags that can be found throughout the stadium. 

In terms of an Athletic Department's commitment to recycling and sustainability, Nebraska is once again becoming a leader. Most recently, Nebraska was second in the Big Ten in the Game Day Recycling Challenge, recycling 4,000 lbs at one game. Nebraska Athletics, along with Recycling Enterprises and Pepsi, has steadily increased recycling efforts since the start of our partnership in 2009.  Each football season, nearly 20,000 pounds of plastic is recycled. We will have a new program going into effect in the fall of 2012 that will increase our diversion rate to 95 percent.  Next year, with the new recycling program in effect, Nebraska will be able to average 5,700 pounds per game of recyclables, which is 40,000 lbs of material that will be recycled during football seasons at Memorial Stadium. Sustainability and recycling programs are certainly not new to athletics, but Nebraska commitment to continue to be greener is a leading force in college athletics. By obtaining a mixed solid waste permit from the NDEQ (Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality), Recycling Enterprises will be able to sort recyclable materials from the waste in order to recycle as much as possible. 

The Nebraska Athletic Department has improved its recycling efforts across campus. Athletic staff members have access to recycling bins on all floors of Memorial Stadium.  Memorial Stadium now features an increased number of recycling containers at all events. Nebraska has also increased its post game recycling efforts at Memorial Stadium, as a staff is in place that is strictly dedicated to Memorial Stadium post-event cleanup. The recycling efforts at Memorial Stadium are co-sponsored by UNL Athletics, Pepsi and Recycling Enterprises of Nebraska. Also, on football game days at Memorial Stadium, every balloon released in Memorial Stadium is 100 percent natural latex biodegradable, as purchased from Midwest Balloon in Omaha. In addition, we do not use plastic tabs to tie off the balloons. We will continue to use only latex biodegradable balloons. In addition, we will monitor the effects, if any, of our time-honored tradition.    

Increased recycling containers can also be found at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Nebraska has even made effort to improve efficiency in their concessions operations. The University has transitioned to recyclable serving ware, cups and napkins.  Nebraska has also repurposed almost $500,000 in furniture instead of throwing it away. Again, it's easy to do your part. If you're on the UNL campus or attending an athletic event, just throw your recyclables in the green bags. 

Fans are encouraged to contact Maggi Thorne, Assistant Director of Capital Planning and Construction, with any questions at 402-472-1000 or Please read below to learn more about recycling efforts at Nebraska's different athletic venues.




  • New efforts in recycling cardboard
  • Increased post game recycling efforts
  • Increased recycling containers at all events
  • Recycle all scrap metal and wood pallets
  • Installing longer lasting more efficient light bulbs
  • New maintenance program for leaking faucets and ice machines throughout stadium
  • Installed block out shades in skybox suites
  • 100% natural latex biodegradable baloons used





  • Increased recycling containers at events
  • Transitioning to all "green" cleaning products
  • Recycle all scrap metal and wood pallets
  • Installing longer lasting more efficient light bulbs
  • Upgraded sprinkler heads to more efficient heads
  • Reseeded with a more drought resistant grass
  • Using motion sensors on bathroom lights
  • Using motion sensors on bathroom toilet fixtures
  • Researching electric equipment


  • High Performance Glazing Window System
  • Continuous Insulation Layer in Precast Concrete Structural Panels
  • Spray Wrap Air and Water Barrier applied to exterior to improve energy efficiency and stop air and water leaks
  • Finish Materials with High Recycle Content
  • Local Building Materials Utilized
  • No VOC Paints
  • Digital Control Controls for Mechanical System
  • Energy Recovery on Air Handling Units
  • Digital Lighting Control System
  • LED Lighting
  • Building / Site Design to enhance views from Antelope Valley Parkway


  • Transitioned to recyclable serving ware, cups and napkins 
  • Updating prep equipment to be more energy efficient



Help Nebraska Become the Greenest School

Huskers Second in Big Ten Recycling Challenge



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