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Garbage in the Grove: A Saturday disappearing act

 

Every Friday prior to a home football game, red and blue trash cans are placed strategically throughout campus. On the day of the game, the large cans are filled to a more than maximum capacity, overflowing with remnants of a good time. Not only does the trash come to a halting peak in each can, debris sometimes piles up around the trash cans.

The question that continues to baffle students is where does all the garbage go so quickly? The answer: the Landscape Services Department. 

Grounds supervisor Thomas Dickerson said he and other workers have the prep work down to a “science.”

“We come in Friday morning at sunrise and place the trash cans, recycling bins and various signs throughout campus,” Dickerson said. “We have a good team that understands the routine that we complete each week.”

Dickerson said cleanup after the game is a two-day process. 

“We start Saturday night with our crew and a number of different non-profit groups each week,” he said. “As a unit, we empty the cans into 20-yard massive dumpsters to haul off the trash. The non-profits help with the recycling and take the bottles and cans themselves.”

Dickerson said students and fans are pretty good about keeping items in the cans. 

“There is still a lot of loose trash, but that is normal and our crews are prepared for that,” he said.

Civil engineering junior Jordan Smith talked about his cleanup routine. 

“We do our fair share of tailgating, but we also take care of our part when it comes to cleanup,” he said.  

Dickerson said this weekend’s game against No. 1 LSU will be harder to clean up.

“We are expecting the bigger games to be pretty bad,” he said. “We are expecting LSU to be a mess this season because of their fans and them being ranked No. 1 in the country.” 

With the LSU game being at night, people will spend more time in the Grove and that leaves less time for cleanup.