Updated: 3:35 a.m. Friday, April 22, 2011 | Posted: 3:34 a.m. Friday, April 22, 2011

Green the goal at high school sports venues


Green the goal at high school sports venues photo
Talawanda High School student Matt Derickson disposes of his plastic water bottle in one of the many recycling bins located around Talawanda’s athletic fields. “It helps the environment,” Derickson said, adding that he normally only recycles while he’s at school. Contributed photo by Scott Allison

By John Bombatch

Staff Writer

OXFORD — Not every area high school has a recycling program for its outdoor sports facilities, but one school district’s dream of building an environmentally friendly high school in the future has put them in the forefront of recycling efforts in the Butler County area.

“We’ve been actively recycling at the high school for the past two years,” said Holli Morrish, the Talawanda School District’s Coordinator of Development and Community Relations. “That’s because the idea came to surface when we began the process of designing a new high school. We wanted to develop a green, highly energy efficient school, but it was then that we realized we were not recycling at all within our school system at the time.

“Since then, we’ve been doing the right things for the community and for our students,” Morrish said.

With the help of Miami University students and officials from Butler County Waste Management Services, Morrish said a comprehensive recycling program was developed for every building in the school district.

THS students got into the act by collecting data to determine where to place recycling bins at athletic venues. Today, a bin can be found at most every Talawanda Braves indoor and outdoor sporting event. The students also have competitions to see which lunch period can recycle the most in a week’s time.

In an informal survey of 20 area high schools, some officials said they do not have any kind of a recycling program in place for their outdoor events. Others, such as Monroe and Ross High Schools, have acquired recycling bins for their sporting events through a partnership with Pepsi as part of their soft drink contract.

“We collect bottles and cans at our sporting events, and we make a public service announcement several times during the event to encourage fans to use the containers,” said Ross Athletic Director Doug Noonan. Ross is in its third year of recycling.

Monroe’s Director of Personnel and Business Affairs Broc Bidlack said the school district added three recycling dumpsters this school year.

“We fill them every week with cardboard, plastic and office paper,” he said. “Those same containers are also used to place recyclable items from the stadium clean-up.”

Madison’s Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Darren Stevens said the school places its recycling bins near its concession stand.

“We kind of piggy back on the recycling efforts we have inside the school. All the bottles we collect are then added to those collected during lunch and in the building,” Stevens said.

“We figure any little bit can help.”

Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2851 or jbombatch@coxohio.com.

Join the effort

For information on how to develop a recycling program for the sports venue, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/rrr/rogo/venues/stadiums.htm.

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