Aug 262008
Authors: Cece Wildeman

Colorado State University is recognized around the country for its efforts, and successes, in recycling programs, both on and off campus.

As part of these continuing efforts, CSU’s Live Green Team sent nearly 400 volunteers, including faculty, staff and students, to the Democratic National Convention to sort through trash and remove all recyclable, reusable and compostable materials, aiming to send only 15 percent of what they receive to a landfill.

“The idea, by design, is to minimize the amount of waste going toward the landfill, to reuse and resource the materials that are being used inside here,” said Tomer Shapira, a sustainability consultant working with the team. The team works in the Quality Control Sorting Center behind the scenes of the hustle and bustle of the Pepsi and Convention Centers.

“We’re kind of sorting it all out and trying to keep the landfill part to a minimum,” said Molly Dunkle, a team volunteer and CSU sophomore business major.

The DNC is not the only place the team is going green. Biodiesel buses are transporting volunteers daily from Fort Collins to Denver, sending enough people to fill three shifts from 8 a.m to midnight at both the Pepsi Center and the Convention Center and, on Thursday, four shifts at Invesco Field.

Tonie Miyamoto, a team member and DNC project coordinator, said the effort is coordinated and fueled entirely by CSU faculty, staff and students.

“As far as we know, this is the largest effort ever made to do this,” she said. “It’s a big goal, but our team is going to work as hard as they can to reach that goal.”

Miyamoto said the project was a big one to plan. Not only did the coordinators aim to recruit volunteers with sustainability experience, they worked with the Democratic National Convention Committee to make sure the material food vendors used was recyclable or compostable.

“The steps being made to do that (minimize landfill-bound waste), for example, are the vendors — the food vendors — they’re only allowed to use biodegradable materials,” said Shapira.

Entertainment Editor Cece Wildeman can be reached at

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