At West Virginia University on game day, being a Mountaineer is about cheering loud, playing well and recycling your empty bottles.

As WVU moves to serving alcoholic beverages in the stadium this football season, beer will be served in #1 plastic bottles. The University is asking that fans dispose of all empty #1 plastic bottles in the yellow recycling bins placed inside the stadium and bottles and cans in the yellow bags provided to tailgaters outside the stadium.

For five years, WVU has collected aluminum and #1 plastic from fans at WVU home games as part of the Mountaineers Recycle program run by WVU Facilities Management, the WVU Center for Civic Engagement and the Monongalia County Solid Waste Authority.

WVU Conservation Specialist Traci Liebig said that over the years fans have been extremely cooperative and increasingly efficient with game day recycling. Less trash is mixed in the bags around the tailgating lots and last year 17.5 tons of plastic and aluminum were collected through the program.

Liebig said the program diverts waste that would otherwise take up space at a landfill and helps the Mountaineer Nation look its best as the University welcomes other teams to Milan Puskar Stadium.

“It’s about Mountaineer pride,” she said. “Going to a game is a privilege, and we want to be good stewards of our landscape—our environment—and we want to put our best foot forward to other teams who are visiting our campus.”

As part of the program, volunteers organized through the Center for Civic Engagement distribute reusable bags to those who park in the Blue Lot. The bags hold a kit of recycling and trash bags for every game of the season. At each game, volunteers remind fans parked on the Evansdale campus to use the recycling bags and then distribute others as needed.

This recycling can get competitive, too. In the past few years, WVU has participated in the EPA Gameday Challenge, which pits universities across the country against each other to see which institution recycles the most.

Volunteers are still needed for shifts before each home game. They will receive a free T-shirt and are eligible to fulfill community service hours.

To sign up as a Mountaineers Recycle volunteer, go to

To find out more about WVU’s recycling and sustainability efforts, visit


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