Touchdown for sustainability

Fans can score big at UC's Nippert Stadium with game day recycling efforts

In a triumphant move toward a greener gridiron, the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium is leading the charge in sustainable game day operations.

UC Sustainability is spearheading an ongoing pursuit to maintain an eco-friendlier campus and stadium — rallying as much fan support as possible — to properly dispose of the mass of bottle and can recyclables too often left behind inside and around Nippert Stadium.

Laying the groundwork for game day participation, UC’s Grounds and Moving Transportation has stepped up their efforts by providing new recycle bins along with landfill trash cans. But they can’t do it with new bins alone.

"We need Bearcat fan support," says Alexandra Román González, UC sustainability coordinator.

Their mission? To have no can or bottle left behind, encouraging patrons to be on the prowl for the recycle bins peppered throughout the stadium and across the campus.

Two round cans (one black trash, one green recycle) inside UC's Nippert Stadium.

Green recycle and black landfill trash cans are strategically placed every 20 to 30 feet inside UC's Nippert Stadium. photo/Alexandra Román González

"We're not just talking the talk, we're walking the walk," says Warren Keith, UC's assistant director of Grounds and Moving Transportation. "We're strategically placing more trash and recycle containers inside Nippert Stadium, turning every level into a field of green glory."

The east concourse now boasts receptacles at every other pillar, while the west concourse sees green cans every 20-30 feet. This strategic placement is poised to intercept the waste blitz, leaving no room for trash to sideline the sustainability play.

Nippert Stadium: A beacon of eco-responsibility


UC student volunteers combing Nippert Stadium for recyclables after a football game. photo/Alexandra Román González

Recycling efforts were a stadium goal even before the pandemic, but the post-game piles still loomed large. It took UC's Office of Sustainability, spearheaded by Román González and her assistant Zoe Goldenberg, to quarterback a new task force.

With the precision of a well-executed play, teams of student volunteers now sweep through the stadium after every game — under seats, in aisles and along walkways. But only a quarter of the plastic and aluminum tumbleweeds are retrieved before the cleanup crews hit the field, costing the university valuable time and money, says Román González.

“You won’t miss these recycling bins, either,” she adds. “They’re solid green, a beacon of hope in a sea of black landfill waste cans. And, if that’s not enough, new signs and universal symbols will grace the lids before the month is out, serving as a gentle reminder for fans to play their part in keeping UC’s stadium and campus beautiful.”

If you see a can, toss a can!

Man wearing a UC Bearcat shirt tosses a can into a green campus recycle can.

Bearcat fan John Marshall conscientiously recycles his game day can. photo/Melanie Schefft

Two women stand next to a green recycle can on UC's Sigma Sigma Commons on football game day.

UC Sustainability coordinators Zoe Goldenberg (left) and Alexandra Román González, (right) on game day recycle duty. photo/Melanie Schefft

As part of the game-changing strategy to tackle waste head-on, fans can now help ensure that Nippert Stadium becomes synonymous with eco-consciousness. With UC's Nippert Stadium leading the charge, it's not just about touchdowns — it's about touchstones of transformation toward a greener future.

So, as the crowds cheer for the Bearcats at Nippert Stadium this fall, Román González hopes fans will remember to be a "green" Bearcat warrior before leaving campus.

“It’s a new era for sustainability, and at UC we hope to score big, one recyclable at a time.”


Featured image at top: UC student volunteers gathered in Sigma Sigma commons while collecting recyclable cans and bottles before a Bearcat football game. photo/Melanie Schefft

UC student volunteer tosses a large blue bag of recyclables into a large blue rolling cart.

Outside the stadium, recycle collection carts are like nimble running backs, designed to hold more than their own weight and are easily rolled around on four wheels. photo/Melanie Schefft

UC Sustainability

The University of Cincinnati recognizes its role as a leader in sustainable practice, research and education. As part of UC’s Next Lives Here strategic direction, the university seeks to consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of its decisions and commits to incorporating the concept of sustainability into its academic and research programs; the design, operation and maintenance of its buildings and landscapes; and its organizational structure and management.

  • Learn more about volunteering to help keep Nippert clean and eco-friendly.

Related Stories


UC surprises future Bearcats on Decision Day

January 24, 2022

Decision Day marks the moment when thousands of incoming Bearcats learn they’ve been accepted to the University of Cincinnati. University officials surprised four area high school seniors at their schools and homes, making them among the first to be accepted into UC in 2022.


Touchdown for sustainability

October 2, 2023

In an ongoing pursuit to maintain an eco-friendlier campus and stadium, UC Sustainability is rallying as much fan support as possible to properly dispose of the mass of bottle and can recyclables too often left behind inside and around Nippert Stadium.