Campus News

UK Recycling diverts record amount of waste from landfill during football season

Photo provided by UK Recycling
Photo provided by UK Recycling.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2023) — University of Kentucky Recycling and UK Athletics have a goal to make Kroger Field a zero-waste facility by 2030 — meaning at least 90% of all waste will no longer be sent to the landfill.

To reach that goal, UK Recycling and Athletics encouraged Big Blue Nation this season to recycle their glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and jugs, and empty pizza boxes both inside the stadium and during their tailgates. A full list of recyclable items at UK can be found here.

Thanks to the dedication of both the fans and staff, waste reduction efforts at Kroger Field diverted a record-setting 32%, or a total of 59.2 tons, of waste from the landfill this football season. This is a 10% increase from last season and an exciting new milestone in the journey to becoming zero-waste.

“The 2023 season was exciting for all. We appreciate the effort of all fans and staff that participated in our sustainability efforts,” said Scott Geisinger with UK Athletics Operations. “We look forward to carrying that momentum in 2024.”

Additionally, UK Recycling piloted a food waste composting program at Kroger Field this season, collecting 1.24 tons of food waste. UK Recycling plans to expand this program next season.

UK Dining also reached an exciting waste reduction milestone this season. They reduced the amount of food leftover after each game by an average of 135 pounds compared to last season.

For more information about UK Recycling and the university’s waste reduction goals, click here or follow @UKYRecycles on all social media platforms.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.