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Major Sport Venues Incorporate New Ways To Compost and Recycle At Their Stadiums

Posted by Emily Bellmore on 3/27/2015 to Public Education

Have you ever been to a sport or concert arena and thought, "Why aren't there any places for me to recycle my drink or food containers?" If you have said this to yourself at some point, you're not alone. According to a recent survey by the marketing agency Sheldon Group found that "nearly one-third of Americans would be more likely to attend a sports game or concert if the stadium where the event was held recycled and composted. The same study found that one in five consumers surveyed said they would buy more food and beverages during the event if they knew their food packaging wouldn't end up in a landfill."

Recently, more and more sport venues are looking to analyze how they can effectively maintain ways to compost and recycle at their stadiums and venues. Senior Scientist, Allen Hershkowitz from NRDC and Director of the Sports Greening Project stated "Ninety-six percent of all food waste discarded in the United States, about 100 billion pounds of it, is wasted in landfills or incinerators, causing huge global warming emissions. At the time, sports venues are spending tens of millions of dollars discarding food waste because they don't have adequate options to direct that material to composting sites, which are in short supply. The growing interest by the sports industry in composting offers enormous potential benefits ecologically and economically to help stimulate the growth and urgently needed composting infrastructure, and it is coming not a moment too soon."

One organization who wanted to get involved with this concept was major league baseball team the New York Yankees. Having composting sites on premise was a key element in the overall scope of initiatives at Yankee Stadium. The stadium now diverts 40 percent of trash away from landfills due to using exclusively biodegradable materials in beverage cups and service ware. Vice President of Stadium Operations, Doug Behar had this say, "Since its inception in 2009, Yankee Stadium has been the centerpiece for the New York Yankees commitment to the goal of food waste diversion. With organic waste collection, compost bins, and an expanded use of compostable food service ware throughout the stadium, we are embracing the vital role we play in sustaining and enhancing our environment."

Recycle Away teamed up with the New York Yankees last year to help the Yankees accomplish their goal of implementing a Zero Waste program at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees wanted to eliminate trash from the stadium and consolidate waste into two streams, one stream for bottles/cans and the other for compostable material. They also wanted containers that looked aesthetically pleasing, were durable, and that fit in with their strict brand standards.

If you are interested in knowing how we got involved with the Yankees, you can view our Case Study to learn more about that process. You can also see the entire NRDC Guide To Composting At Sports Venues to see which one of your favorite teams are composting at their stadiums and arenas.

Does your favorite sports team recycle or compost at their stadium? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook!