BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - While LSU takes on a team in Death Valley, the staff at LSU Facilities Services faces their own opponent off the field; and like the Tigers, the prep begins long before kickoff.
"It's kind of like fighting a war," said the assistant director for Landscape Services Fred Fellner. "It starts on a Monday and ramps all the way up to Sunday."
Facilities Services is responsible for keeping all 1,000 acres of the LSU campus beautiful and clean, even as thousands of tailgaters and visitors pour in each home game. They begin coordinating resources on Monday, and start setting up trash bins by Friday. Before the first tent is ever set up, 4,000 containers are already in place.
Shifts of workers will continue through the game on Saturday, helping to keep the campus and the stadium as clean as they can. However, the real work starts at four Sunday morning, when 150 workers replace tailgaters. Their job is to pick up and gather the more than 50 tons of waste left behind by fans.
"We'll fill out four, five, six, seven, eight maybe rear loader compacter trucks on a weekend with a good game," counted Fellner.
That translates into about a pound of trash for every seat in Tiger Stadium.
The cleanup is a study in logistics with multiple contractors and LSU staff carefully coordinating to have every trace of game day gone by Sunday afternoon. However, it's not enough to just throw the trash away.
"LSU is committed to pollution prevention. LSU is committed to sustainability. Recycling is just a key part of that," said the manager of campus sustainability initiatives Sarah Temple.
Facilities Services has a goal of recycling 50 percent of game weekend waste. Currently, the University recycles about 40 percent. To help reach that goal, Temple is looking for volunteers, both student and community groups, to help tailgaters recycle as they go. Big blue, square recycling bins are easily spotted and left throughout campus, making it easy for tailgaters.
"Bottles, cans even cardboard is recyclable," said Temple.
If you are interested in helping out with recycling efforts, you can contact Temple at firstname.lastname@example.org.