1. Education Spells It Out
It’s commonplace for any sporting event to offer recycling. However, it’s often the last thing on spectators’ minds as they are engrossed in the game (and their drinks).
This year, Waste Management’s recycling bins were side-by-side to trash cans with signage that explained in detail what to recycle and what to toss. There was never not an option to recycle. And if signage wasn’t enough, the company placed “Recycling Ambassadors” around the course to educate fans on what to throw in the bin. No confusion, no fuss, no inconvenience.
All plates, cups, cans, bottles and even polystyrene foam containers were thrown into the single-stream recycling bins. With the exception of the random oddity item, most materials at the Open were recyclable, and food waste and greasy items in the trash were sorted and composted if possible, according to Waste Management’s Communication Manager Melissa Quillard.
Last year, Waste Management had only two months to plan for the Phoenix Open. But even in a serious time crunch, the company managed to recycle 234 tons of the 323 tons of waste produced. According to Quillard, the company hopes that 2011′s game will serve as a model for other major sporting events. A zero-waste future isn’t impossible because there’s so much opportunity for the things we toss.
“The story doesn’t end at the curb,” said Quilliard. “It’s actually where it begins.”