Pinnacle Bank Arena is going green

By: Cole Miller

The city has teamed up with Energy Star and students with the environmental studies program at UNL. Together, they're looking to set a new standard for efficiency with Lincoln's future arena.

The Pinnacle Bank Arena is going green. As construction continues in the West Haymarket, students teamed up with the city. Their job? to design a state-of-the-art recycling system. “It's really cool to know that we're a part of something so large and that our major can help out in that way. We hope to make people understand more about our major and just the importance of energy efficiency and recycling and all of those things,” said Danny Martin and Celeste Wanner, both UNL environmental studies majors.

Danny Martin and Celeste Wanner are part of a team that's looking at what some other Big Ten schools have done in the way of recycling. It's estimated each visitor to the arena will create a little more than two pounds of waste.

The goal is to get 75 percent of that recycled, something these students say can have a big effect. “I think it'll be good and maybe it can influence just the residents to be more sustainable and participate more at home,” said Jesy Hansen, a UNL environmental studies student.

The teams will present their recommendations to arena management next Spring. Couple their efforts with the city's Energy Star partnership, and Mayor Chris Beutler says Pinnacle Bank Arena will be a model for energy efficiency.

“We're looking forward to saving the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in the very near future,” said Mayor Beutler. Buildings that are Energy Star certified use on average about 35 percent less energy than others.