The clock runs down to zero, the athletes start for the locker room and the crowd files out – leaving behind half-full bags of popcorn, empty cups and forgotten nachos.
Then the clean-up crew arrives.
Rick Grogan, assistant to the director of the Building and Equipment Maintenence Division, said that six or seven buildings services employees are present at every game.
Those employees make sure the trash is taken out, cleans up litter and spilled food.
After each game, the trash in the cans is removed from the stadium. That includes behind the concession stands, in the public area and around all the exits of the stadium.
On the Monday morning following the game, part of the grounds crew goes through the bleachers of the stadium, cleaning up all the trash from the past game.
The grounds crew also cleans up discarded material in the parking lot of Roy Stewart Stadium.
Grogan said an average of 200 pounds of garbage is taken to the Transfer Station after every football game.
Grogan said though they used to have Class D felons on the grounds crew cleaning up trash, they have not done so in a number of years.
While the Building and Equipment Maintenence Division handles trash clean up at Roy Stewart Stadium and most other buildings on campus, the CFSB Center has its own cleanup crew for basketball games and events.
Bob Scales, operations supervisor of the CFSB Center and Lovett Auditorium, said after every game or event at CFSB, a group comes in to clean up all the garbage left behind by patrons. He said the usual group is about seven building service technicians, as they take care of the building, as well as four or five student workers.
Scales said there are 100-150 students working at CFSB during the year, and they rotate cleanup on games and events.
All trash from Murray State, including garbage from football and basketball games, is taken to the Transfer Station, where it is left to be taken to a landfill.
According to the Murray Transfer Station’s webpage on murrayky.gov, “Refuse is hauled to an off-site landfill by a third-party contractor.” Calloway County does not have a landfill, so no waste is kept in-county.
Recycling is also an important part of the work cleanup crews do at these facilities.
There are recycling bins in the football stadium for cardboard, plastic and aluminum cans. Grogan said right now building services is recycling approximately 34 percent of materials. He said he hopes to see that number rise to more than 50 percent in the near future.
“We’re trying to decrease the amount of material we’re sending to the transfer station, and increase the amount we’re recycling,” Grogan said.
About recycling at CFSB, Scales said that all cardboard is recycled, as well as all the batteries used in the building.
According to the Murray Transfer Station’s webpage on murrayky.gov, every ton of waste dropped off at the station costs $45.75.
Philip Morris, supervisor of Murray’s Transfer Station, said his facility receives 90-95 tons of garbage from the University every month.
Story by Kate Russell, Staff writer