Trash Goalie Waste Diversion

As part of my work with Texas Disposal Systems, we support the waste diversion services of the Austin FC Q2 Stadium. This work has included serving as “Trash Goalies” during football (soccer) games!

Being a volunteer Trash Goalie, we helped monitor the eco-waste stations near the concession areas and stadium seating. The eco-waste stations were divided into three separate, labeled bins so attendees could see where their waste should go. Our jobs were to help “block shots” to prevent contamination as well as educate guests on proper disposal practices at the stadium.

We attended the last Austin FC football game of the season in 2021 to help volunteer as Trash Goalies. There was over a dozen TDS employee volunteers who came out to help! We initially arrived a couple of hours before the game to meetup, go over the game plan, and position ourselves before the stadium gates opened. I really enjoyed seeing the near empty stadium before the game, since I’ve only seen it packed with people.

It was bitterly cold and the wind was relentless. However, I knew to wear several layers, tall socks, and had a jacket hood to cover my ears and hat-covered head — I was saw dressed for the wind-tunnel eco-waste station position.

To be the greenest venue possible, the Q2 Stadium adopted compostable flatware and utensils when serving guests. This knocked out several tons of traditional single-use plastics that would’ve otherwise ended up in the landfill, or contaminated the recycling stream with food waste and residue.

In practice, compostables are a step above recyclables for many reasons. There reasons include: less transportation and associated emissions and costs for processing, shorter turn around time for processing and direct application, improves the quality of soil impacting both plants and biodiversity while reducing erosion, and many other reasons!

See “10 Reasons Why Composting Is Better Than Recycling” and other research on the benefits of compostable products over plastics.

The Austin FC team won their final home game of the season and that was a fun sight to see. While the weather wasn’t favorable, it felt good doing my part as a Trash Goalie – especially not having to pay for an entry ticket either!

I recommend attending an Austin FC game, they are very fun and the fans get rowdy. But even more so, I recommend touring the Q2 Stadium. It’s very impressive and has many LEED and eco-friendly aspects incorporated into the design.

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