This looks to be part of the 1970s era recycling effort on campus. Believe it or not the first thing I noticed was the car in a spot where I wasn’t expecting to see a car. Next I saw the aggressive implements being used to load the cans into some sort of truck. And finally I gave in and spent quite a bit of time staring at the cans themselves. You could probably date this pretty close just by the cans. So much Tab!
Bonus: It’s the northeast corner of the Physics Amphitheater.
The car and clothes look like late 60s – early 70s. IIRC, one could unofficially put a car pretty much anywhere you wanted back in the day provided you moved it when you were done. Coors apparently expanded its distribution in Houston in 1976, according to Texas Monthly, although it was available before that.
That Sprite can design seems to end in 1974, and the Fresca design seems to be between 70-78. So that narrows it down some.
Yes! The Sprite logo shown in the photo was used on cans 1964-74 (https://1000logos.net/sprite-logo/) … and the up-down-lettered Fresca logo shown in the image was used 1970-77 (https://sodacancollection.weebly.com/fresca-10.html).
But the three-orange-ball Fanta logo was used 1972-88 (https://turbologo.com/articles/fanta-logo/) … which would seem to narrow the range of this photo further to 1972-74.
FYI, the TaB cans in the posted photo have small/subtle serifs on the “T” and do not have the saccharin warning below the logo, which dates them to “early 70s,” according to this Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tab_(drink) and image (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/TaB_cans_from_the_1970s.jpg). But my quick searches didn’t find any more-specific dates for them. (I suspect that the three “sugar free” mentions above the TaB logo shown the the posted photo are for the 12-ounce can, compared with the one “sugar free” line on the 8-ounce can shown in the Wikipedia article.)
FTR, Coca-Cola says that its ” ‘Arden square’ logo with the distinctive wave-like flourish (properly known as the dynamic ribbon device) was introduced in 1969 (Image 5 on this slideshow of Coca-Cola product designs: https://www.chowhound.com/pictures/evolution-coca-cola-bottle-can-designs/dynamic-ribbon-device).
As for Coors, when I was at Rice (1966-73), it was distributed only as close as Waco. Regular runs were made in which someone drove to Waco and returned with his car filled with cases of Coors, which were sold (quite profitably) to those who yearned for beer made with Rocky Mountain spring water (rather than the artesian water touted by local brews).
Post-Peace Corps Dave Bailey, Environmental Science, 9/1970 – 5/1973
There was a big recycling pen set up beside the Mech Lab starting about 1970, as I recall, so I assume this is a picture of it.