Tiger Tailgate Recycling offers volunteer opportunity without missing the game

Thursday, July 28, 2011 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Tiger Tailgate Recycling provides a different way to tailgate before home football games for MU students.

Tiger Tailgate Recycling is a great way to get involved with the football traditions at MU while giving back to the community at the same time.

The volunteer program is a part of Sustain Mizzou, an environmentally focused student organization on campus.

Students hand out recycling bags to tailgaters and replace bags in bins around the stadium and parking lots.

"When you're pulling beer-soaked bags out of bins with other volunteers who are acquaintances or strangers, they become friends very quickly,” said former Sustain Mizzou president and volunteer Tina Casagrand.

MU sophomore Kat Seal started participating in the organization during her freshmen year.

“I’d never really been into football, so I thought that this would be a fun way to get more involved in Sustain Mizzou and enjoy the football aspect of Mizzou in a different way,” Seal said.

She also said that being involved helped her feel connected to the MU community, which is just as important to her as the environmental benefits of recycling.

 “I felt like I was really making a difference,” Seal said. “I loved seeing myself make an impact with a bunch of tailgaters.”

Don't worry about missing any football games because volunteering for the recycling program and attending the MU Tiger home games are both possible.

“Tailgaters start early, so you can hand out recycling bags in the first shift and still have plenty of time to go to the game,” Casagrand said.

MU junior and the fall 2011 Tiger Tailgate Recycling Project Leader Jesse Day said students can volunteer for as long as they want to and leave whenever they want because any amount of time spent volunteering is valuable.

Day said going to a game and volunteering are compatible. “You can always come volunteer for an hour and leave early to wait in line if you want to get to the game early.”

Since the program began in 2005, volunteers have saved 110 tons of recyclable materials from the dump. In fall 2010 alone, 18.6 tons were recycled over a period of six games.

“It’s fun, and it’s social. Even if you’re not tailgating, you’re with the tailgaters, and you’re talking to people about being green,” Day said. “You get a very social aspect of it.”

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