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Boise state students recycle left over trash at summer concerts

Posted: 4:41 PM, Jul 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-30 18:41:18-04

BOISE — More than 80,000 fans packed Albertsons Stadium for the Garth Brooks concerts, leaving behind their boot prints and thousands of recyclables.

"I knew I always had a passion for sustainability, but I didn't know how deep it actually ran," said environmental studies student Isabelle Setna.

Students at Boise State weren't about to let these resources go to waste.

Volunteers with the Boise State Campus Sustainability Team spent 8.5 hours collecting the materials from the concert, picking up nearly 1,700 pounds of recyclable materials. They were later transported to local recycling plants.

"Just constantly on our feet, working, pulling bags, sorting and dumping the recyclables in," said student Arie Weidemaier.

Their passion is creating awareness about recycling, something easily forgotten at large scale events. Garth Brooks' concerts were their biggest endeavor yet, but not their last. In fact, they're going to a string of summer concerts to do the same thing.

"I think that it's really important to spread awareness and the only way that we can do that is if we learn how to engage people and the more people that come to us the better," said Setna.

With limited volunteers and hours, they couldn't collect every recyclable at Albertsons Stadium, but they took the time to separate the water bottles, which pose a risk for contamination in recycling.

"We saw at the end of the night was the stands were mainly full of recyclables, cans and plastic bottles," said student Nino Duran.

If you see them out at a concert, feel free to say hi and ask questions. They'll be at several throughout the summer.

"There's still a lot that we can do," said Duran.

Their next concert is at the Idaho Botanical Gardens, collecting recyclables during the Lord Huron and Shakey Graves concert. For more information on the sustainability team, you can connect with them here.