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Toter contributes to UNC Charlotte’s zero-waste sustainability efforts with customized Fan Cans for recycling and composting

Toter contributes to UNC Charlotte’s zero-waste sustainability efforts with customized Fan Cans for recycling and composting

Toter, one of North America’s leading providers of waste and recycling carts for waste haulers, municipalities and consumers, is helping the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) create a zero-waste environment at its new Jerry Richardson Stadium.

Aiming to divert all waste from landfills, the university uses Toter carts for recyclable and compostable materials inside the football stadium. UNCC acquired 22 Toter Fan Cans ® for recyclable materials and 22 Toter litter containers for compostable materials, each for use in the Jerry Richardson football stadium. Toter customized each cart with UNCC’s colours, and created replicas of the UNCC football helmet for the Fan Cans. Toter also donated Fan Cans to both Chancellor Philip Dubois and Brad Lambert, the first Charlotte 49er football coach. In addition, Toter donated two cans to UNCC for auctions benefitting athletic scholarships.

UNCC created the zero-waste initiative with a student resolution, and has student volunteers standing by carts at every home game to explain which items should be composted and recycled. Each Toter Fan Can displays pictures of what should be recycled, including cans, cardboard, paper products, and more.

"Not only are the Fan Cans attractive, they're fun. Bringing helmets off the field and onto the concourse encourages the fans to be an integral part of the overall success of Charlotte football," said Nina Simmons, UNCC’s director of venue management.  "Our fans of all ages love feeding the helmets."

To help achieve the zero-waste initiative, UNCC requires Chartwells, their university dining service, to package all food items in materials that are either recyclable or compostable. Drink and ice cream cups go into Toter’s Fan Cans, while almost everything else can be composted.

 “Fans at games are very supportive of the zero-waste initiative,” said Shannon Caveny-Cox, UNCC’s C&D recycling coordinator/waste contract administrator. “Having (Toter’s) recycling cans with team helmets is a good way to do something different and get people’s attention, making them think twice about where they’re throwing something away. We’re happy with the success of the initiative in our football stadium, and are treating this almost as a pilot project, with the option of expanding to other UNCC sport venues once we can show results.”

The university’s zero-waste efforts with Toter carts have significantly increased the amount of waste diverted from landfills at each UNCC home game. In the first home football game alone, UNCC reported 62.6 percent of their overall stadium waste was diverted from the landfill. During more recent games, as much as 93.9 percent of waste was diverted from the landfill.

“Toter is excited to be part of UNCC’s inaugural football season and to help support the university’s sustainability efforts,” said Joe Futcher, Toter president. “We realize the growing importance of sustainable products, and in addition to incorporating up to 50 percent recycled content in each of our carts, which themselves are fully recyclable, we continue to refine our manufacturing process to reduce the amount of virgin material required.” 

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