Office of Sustainability

University of Mississippi

How the Green Grove Initiative Works

Program Structure

The Green Grove Initiative is a program of the UM Office of Sustainability.
A three-tiered leadership structure provides students with a variety of involvement levels to choose from including internships, membership in the Gameday Ambassador cohort or volunteer opportunities on gamedays and on weekdays.

Green Grove Initiative Team Recruits Volunteers during Welcome Week 2014.

Green Grove Gameday Coordinators recruit volunteers during Welcome Week.

Green Grove Gameday Coordinator Internship  – Each fall, 3-4 students in the Office of Sustainability’s Green Student Intern Program serve as Green Grove Gameday Coordinators. Coordinators work an average of 10 hours a week in the office to recruit volunteers, prepare for upcoming home football games, assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the program and develop educational outreach initiatives. Coordinators work 6 of 7 home football games, attend recycling sorting after each game and participate in additional waste reduction efforts including collecting recycling in the stadium and assisting Landscape Services with Grove cleanup once during the football season.  Applications for 2016 gameday coordinators are now closed.


Green Grove Ambassador Brittany Lott (left) and volunteers head out into the Grove to educate tailgaters about recycling.

Green Grove Ambassador Volunteer Cohort  – Gameday ambassadors are students who have volunteered previously with Green Grove and have a strong desire to serve in a leadership capacity with the program. Ambassadors serve about 3-3.5 hours on home football game weeks. Ambassadors attend 5 of 7 home football games, during which they lead groups of volunteers into the Grove and Circle to educate tailgaters on how to recycle and pass out recycling bags. Ambassadors also meet weekly with Gameday Coordinators to discuss successes and areas for improvement after each game. Pre-season orientation is provided to ensure that Ambassadors are knowledgeable of the recycling process, fan engagement strategies and volunteer management. Applications for 2016 Green Grove Ambassadors are now open! Apply by July 15.

Green Grove Volunteers -There are multiple opportunities to volunteer with the Green Grove Initiative. On gameday, volunteers work with Ambassadors to provide education and outreach on the Green Grove Initiative to tailgaters in the Grove and Circle by informing them on the recycling system and passing out recycling bags. Volunteers stationed outside of the stadium encourage students to recycle before entering the student section immediately prior to kickoff.Additionally, Green Grove volunteers can help sort collected recyclables on the Monday and Tuesday following a home football game. All volunteer opportunities last for about 2 hours. Sign-up sheets for fall 2016 volunteer opportunities will be posted in early August, prior to the beginning of the 2016 fall semester. 

Partnerships & Collaboration

The Green Grove Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Office of Sustainability, Landscape Services, the Oxford Recycling Center and the Athletics Department.

If you organization or department is interested in getting involved, e-mail

Recycling Process

Green Grove Ambassadors

1.) Prior to football game Saturdays, Landscape Services sets up ClearStream recycling bins in the Grove and Circle as part of regular gameday preparations.

2.) On gameday, Green Grove Coordinators, ambassadors and volunteers pass out green recycling bags to individual tents and communicate with tailgaters about items that can be recycled. On gameday, this includes Plastics 1 & 2, aluminum cans and Solo cups. Tailgaters collect recycling in their bags and leave them in the Grove after the game. Landscape Services collects the bags and places them in roll-off bins that are picked up by the Oxford Recycling Center.

3.) On the Monday and Tuesday afternoon following home games, students sort through each recycling bag, separating plastics, aluminum and Solo cups.

4.) The plastics and aluminums are then recycled by the Oxford Recycling Center.

5.) Green Grove Gameday Coordinators box up the collected Solo cups and ship them to Terracycle, a New Jersey-based company that has the capacity to recycle hard plastics.