Friday, September 27, 2019

Tampa Bay Sierra Volunteers Score with NFL for Stadium Recycling Effort

Volunteers in the Tampa Bay Group's Stadium Recycling Initiative at a recent game.
The NFL has recognized nationwide the Tampa Bay Sierra Club Stadium Recycling Initiative at Raymond James Stadium in its "Huddle for 100" program!  In honor of the National Football League’s 100th season, the NFL has created the “Huddle for 100” program which  invites fans to partner with them, the players and their teams to choose a cause, volunteer 100 minutes of their time and help shape their community in a positive manner. The NFL’s goal is to record 100 million volunteer minutes in one season across the United States. It is a major NFL undertaking and is being promoted through radio and television advertising along with social media.

Tampa Bay's stadium recycling lead volunteer David Varrieur submitted the application on behalf of the Tampa Bay Group. The application basically stated: “This is the Tampa Bay Sierra Club's Stadium Recycling Initiative. It's the first NFL recycling program started in 1990. We have 20 volunteers @ 2 hours per event for all events. 120 minutes per person per event. 2,400 minutes per person annually. 48,000 minutes annually as a group. We recycled with Jack Groh (Director of the NFL Environmental Program) for Superbowl XLIII.”

Thousands of entries were submitted from all over the United States. But only one could be featured on the prestigious “20 million milestone reached!” section of the NFL Huddle for 100 website. That one is the Tampa Bay Sierra Club Group. The effort encourages game, event and concert attendees to recycle on the spot and at home.  Kudos to everyone involved  in this amazing accomplishment! 

To see the NFL acknowledgement of the Tampa Bay volunteers, click the link below scroll to the “20 million milestone reached!” section.

The Stadium Recycling Initiative works like this:

Prior to the start of each stadium event, Sierra Club volunteers act as event day educational ambassadors. They encourage spectators to recycle using the recycling stations located both in and out of the stadium. A typical event will include 20 volunteers dressed in Sierra Club shirts. They stand at recycling stations at entry gates around the stadium, thanking guests for supporting the Sierra Club recycling program. 

This season, volunteers expanded into the parking lots and adjacent streets picking up plastic, aluminum and glass containers to bring back and deposit into the stadium recycling bins. Their efforts have resulted in collecting thousands of tons of recycled materials annually that may have ended up in incinerators.

After their shift, the volunteers are compensated by free entry into the event and they sit in the employee seating areas around the stadium. The Sierra Club Tampa Bay Group is compensated financially per event. This program is continuously the single largest annual fundraiser for them.

The Stadium Recycling Initiative continues to be an incredible recycling success story for the Tampa Bay community and fundraiser for the Tampa Bay Group. This season  events  include the Gasparilla Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the first XFL game and WrestleMania. The volunteers are also hopeful that the group will be invited to work the Superbowl in 2021. 

Interested in joining the team?  Contact David Varrieur at to volunteer for this great community program.