In the past two years more than 36,000 pounds of bottles and cans were recycled at home football games through West Virginia University’s Mountaineers Recycle Program. These recycling efforts saved 132 trees, 195,000 kilowatt-hours, 9,000 gallons of oil, 7,800 gallons of gasoline and prevented the equivalent of 68 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released.

“It began in 2005 as a collaborative effort between WVU Facilities, Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Coca-Cola and WVU Athletics,” said Barbara Angeletti, recycling program coordinator for WVU Facilities.

Today, students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to join the Mountaineers Recycle Program. Volunteers meet four hours prior to each home football game and are given a free t-shirt and something to eat. The volunteers then separate and conquer the various lots surrounding the Milan Puskar Stadium.

Throughout the hours leading up to the game, volunteers walk around the lots, passing out recycling bags.

The next step is the tailgater’s job. “We give them a yellow bag for their recyclables and at the end of their tailgate all they have to do is tie up the bag and leave it by their car,” said Angeletti. “We come around once the game has started and collect all of the bags.”

The collections are then delivered to the Monongalia County Recycling Center. Donning rubber gloves, old sweatshirts and boots the WVU and county recycling coordinators get the honor of sorting through all of the materials collected.

Volunteers are arranged through WVU’s Center for Civic Engagement. “We have really seen a growth in the number of volunteers in just four years,” said Brett White, special events coordinator at the CCE. “We started with about ten volunteers and the number has increased to about 25-40 for each game.”

“I really get a sense of helping out the environment and I’ve gotten to meet some really cool people and made lots of friends,” said Lindsay Bostich, a freshman pre-occupational therapy major from Washington, Pa and volunteer for the Mountaineers Recycle Program. “I like working with people who give 310 percent like Barbara, Brett, Laura and the other student volunteers; it shows how much they care for the cause, and it really helps motivate the volunteers.”

For more volunteer information please visit



Contact: Barbara Angeletti, Recycling Coordinator for WVU