Skip to content

Mizzou’s Tiger Tailgate Recycling: A Look Behind the Scenes

October 21, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maggie Holleman is the secretary of Sustain Mizzou, and runs the Tiger Tailgate Recycling program. When I told the story for KOMU TV, she allowed me to give viewers a glimpse at the work she and many other students do to keep tailgating fun and environmentally friendly. I asked Maggie to tell us her personal story and what exactly Tiger Tailgate Recycling has meant to her. Photos of volunteers at work by Megan Bischof.

I was a sophomore when I discovered Tiger Tailgate Recycling — or TTR as we call it. It took me a whole year to find the football season’s hidden gem. During my Freshman year, I was wrapped up in the school spirit and went to every home football game. I loved watching Mizzou play, but when the next season rolled around, I found myself less than enthusiastic. However, I did not want to be left behind in my dorm room while my friends went to the game. So when my friend Julie said she was going to help out with a recycling project at tailgates, I tagged along.

My first TTR experience — I did the second shift. This is when we met Adam. Adam was a TTR veteran, and he knew all the tricks of the trade. We walked by every “hot spot” — tailgaters would fill up the bin after bin of Bud Light cans. Adam taught Julie and I that a smiling face was all you needed and people would be receptive to what you had to say.

"Some people ask me if I miss tailgating with my friends or watching the games. And, honestly, TTR is like tailgating with every Mizzou fan. As volunteers, just because we aren’t drinking with other fans, doesn’t mean they aren’t having a blast."

After my first TTR shift, I was hooked. I never missed a game. I cannot say that I’ve ever had a problem with people not wanting recycle. In fact most people wait for TTR volunteers to come by with blue bags.

Some people ask me if I miss tailgating with my friends or watching the games. And, honestly, TTR is like tailgating with every Mizzou fan. As volunteers, just because we aren’t drinking with other fans, doesn’t mean they aren’t having a blast. The massive RVs and painted school buses and small family sites are as diverse as the volunteers who provide the bags. Most fans are so welcoming they even offer some of the volunteers food. All in all, it’s a fair trade off.

During the last game against Colorado, a man came up to me as I was trying to pull a ripped bag from a bin and said, “Wow, that’s a thankless job, so thank you.” In the end, TTR is not a thankless job. In fact, every time we see a fan put a can or bottle into a bin or bag we gave them, it’s like a small little thank you to us. We don’t mind beer soaked shoes or hot sunny days walking through black top parking lots.

After four seasons of doing all this, TTR hit its 100 ton mark — a monumental achievement. That means that student volunteers who spend four hours a day, six times a year have saved 100 tons of recyclables from landfills. That is the best “thank you” we could ask for.

Don’t forget to recycle at this weekend as you soak up the atmosphere at the Homecoming parade and at your tailgates during Mizzou Game Day. Here’s more info:

Tiger Tailgate Recycling volunteers will not be picking up bags this weekend. They are handing out bags as usual but are starting at 11 a.m. instead of 1 p.m. so to cover more ground. From 5 to 8p.m., volunteers will be emptying bins later than usual in hopes of catching the halftime crowd. Volunteers will just be out in the tailgating sites longer.

TTR is always looking for volunteers and anyone can help and help is needed on all shifts (11a.m. – 2p.m, 2 – 5p.m., 5 – 8p.m.). If you’re interested, email Megan Holleman at mchb82@mail.mizzou.edu. TTR also has an event on Facebook “TTR: Homecoming” with all the details. Stop by their tend if you are at the Stadium to learn more about TTR. The tent is located at the main entrance by the Tiger Team Store.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: