Carolina Panthers

Recycling for Carolina Panthers tailgaters resumes Friday night

The annual recycling program for tailgaters at Carolina Panthers games begins again at Friday night’s preseason match-up against the New England Patriots

Tailgaters will receive a recycling bag as they enter their chosen parking lot. As fans enjoy pregame tailgate parties, they are asked to recycle clean cardboard, bottles and cans.

Before heading into the stadium, tailgaters should leave the bags curbside, along with collapsed cardboard if not in the bags, for collection by the city’s Solid Waste team.

Last year, tailgaters diverted 50 tons, the best tonnage recovery in the program’s eight-year history, city officials said.

Overall, tailgating generates nearly 10 tons of waste on most game days, according to Charlotte’s Solid Waste Services Department.

The record last year came at the Jan. 24 divisional win against the Arizona Cardinals, when 4.45 tons of tailgate recyclables were collected.

Last year, 103.41 tons of recyclables were collected in Bank of America Stadium at Panthers games. Combined with the 50.36 tailgate tons, a record 153.77 tons were diverted from the landfill.

Bojangles, Charlotte Center City Partners, Bank of America and Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful also participate in the annual recycling effort.

Since the program began in 2009, Panthers fans have recycled 245 tons of materials – enough to nearly fill Bank of America Stadium.

“Our fan awareness continues to grow,” Scott Paul, executive director of stadium operations for the Carolina Panthers, said in a statement Wednesday. “We are really excited to build on our success from previous seasons’ recycling efforts.”

Volunteers are being recruited to help parking lot operators distribute extra recycling bags and share information with fans about what to recycle and how to help city crews with collection. Last year, 144 volunteers participated.

To volunteer yourself or a group, contact Jake Wilson at 704-432-1772, 704-621-7372 (cell) or

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak