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Post-game Show

Resource Recycling
By Michelle Lee Guiney

The nine waste sorts to date at Fenway Park in Boston have produced a total 56 percent landfill diversion rate, and one recent effort achieved 76 percent diversion.

The nine waste sorts to date at Fenway Park in Boston have produced a total 56 percent landfill diversion rate, and one recent effort achieved 76 percent diversion.

Each day, the United State generates a little under 1 million tons of waste, according to a report last year from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF). Based on 2013 waste data, EREF estimated the U.S. recycles 21 percent of its discards, composts 6 percent and sends 9 percent to energy recovery, meaning the country incinerates or buries around 222 million tons of material annually.

Clearly, Americans need fresh pathways to keep materials out of the waste stream. And despite lacking sexy, high-tech appeal, there is one solution that can hit a grand slam when it comes to recovering a high percentage of recyclables: manual sortation at the hundreds of major sporting and entertainment events that take place around the U.S. daily.

Just ask facilities managers at Fenway Park, the historic home of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox. The team has been pushing into exciting territory on the waste issue since the summer of 2016 with its concessions partner Aramark Corporation as well as with Waste Management, the exclusive hauler for the Boston Red Sox, and G Force Waste Sorters. Together, these entities have worked to establish a system that employs sorting staff to separate recoverable materials from trash during stadium cleanup after select games and concerts held at Fenway.

Through the nine sorts that have occurred so far, the collaborators have sorted 31,057 pounds of trash and recovered 17,402 pounds for recycling and composting to yield a 56 percent overall landfill waste diversion rate for the sorted stream. The procedure has become increasingly efficient over time, and the approach can serve as a template for other venues around the country.

Eclipsing 75 percent diversion

To push forward the waste diversion program at Fenway Park, select games and concerts have been chosen over the last year to serve as pilot efforts. These pilot project sorts have allowed stakeholders to learn how to deal with logistical challenges, such as limited sorting space, complicated loading docking access, weather-related issues and coordinating needs when multiple events occur at the park simultaneously.

Not surprisingly, improvements have been implemented along the way, and one recent sort achieved a 76 percent landfill diversion rate for materials generated by event attendees. Jonathan Lister, senior director of Fenway Park Facilities Management and board member for G Force Waste Sorters, encapsulates the enthusiasm of all partners involved: “This is an All-Star team and post-game waste sorting is the MVP.”

How exactly does the operation unfold on days when the waste-sort team is deployed?

After the mass exodus from Fenway of roughly 40,000 fans, a massive cleanup project ensues. Aramark heads the army of permanent and temporary staff who work through the night to restore the venue to a clean condition. On the waste front, loads of collected trash are weighed and then dumped in a designated sorting area managed by G Force Waste Sorters.

Four to six sorters are assigned to six-foot-long tables and have multiple carts behind them for separating materials. Once carts are filled, sorters log the weight and material type of each cart and then proceed to the loading dock to empty the cart into the correct compactor. Around 20 sorters repeat this procedure throughout the evening, filling hundreds of carts until all trash is sorted. Clearly, it’s a tedious effort, but it has helped highlight just how much work it takes to ensure proper diversion of materials within a large event setting. And the process has the potential for big payoffs.

Venues like Fenway can easily accumulate 10 tons of trash alone in just a few hours. A rough calculation by G Force Waste Sorters has determined that if all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums across the country were able to divert 76 percent of their fan-generated waste for all their games, more than 18,000 tons of recyclable and organic material would be recovered annually.

Read the full story here.

Will LED Lighting Affect the Game of Baseball?

By Mark Urycki

2017.06.19-NewsFeed-Baseball Lights-IMAGE

The Cleveland Indians next home game is Friday when they host the Minnesota Twins.   It’s a night game, like most of the games in Major League Baseball.

The Indians won the very first American League night game in 1939 in Philadelphia.  The first of any Major League Baseball game played under lights occurred down state in Cincinnati four years earlier.

Now as stadiums change their lighting systems statisticians will be watching to see if the game changes.

Probably the very first of any baseball game played under lights involved two amateur teams in Massachusetts in 1880. Thanks to Cleveland inventor Charles Brush they had arc lamps available.

The professional teams eventually settled on metal halide lamps and for the last 50 years that’s been the standard.  But this year Progressive Field became one of a dozen Major League parks to use lower-wattage LED lighting.

The installation was dome by Ephesus Lighting, a subsidiary of Cleveland’s Eaton Corporation.  Ephesus president Mike Lorenz says the league is backing the change.

“There’s an organization called the Green Sports Alliance it was founded less than 10 years ago. And their whole vision is to encourage teams to reduce their carbon footprint in a variety of ways. And obviously lighting is a major component of that.”

Lorenz figures the LED’s at Progressive Field will reduce the club’s power consumption by 50%.  And because the LED’s can be quickly turned on and off, savings may be more than that.  Indoor arenas and stadiums that are air-conditioned may save the most money because LED’s give off much less heat.

How much light and what color they have is largely up to the teams.  Lorenz says each lamp is made up of many diodes that can be tuned to a specific color temperature,

“We try to create as consistent a light as we can so that during the transition from late afternoon to early evening to evening the field of play is as consistent as it can be for the players and the fans and the broadcasting.”

If you’ve looked into an LED flashlight you know it can be painful.   Lorenz says they work to avoid problems for players that need to look up into the lights to catch a ball.

“For players, what they are concerned about is unintended light or glare zones. And because we can be very precise in how we direct the light we can reduce the number of player glare zones.  Obviously these lights are very bright and if you look straight at it it’s going to be intense.  Our goal is try to mimize those areas where players are forced to look up at those lights”

Lorenz says his company has installed LED’s in hundreds of venues and have heard no complaints from players.  But how will it affect batters?

Read the full story here.

Earth Matters: The Zero-Waste House That Jeter Built

by Susan Hellauer

Birds-eye view of the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Starting with recycled steel and concrete, and diversion of construction waste, the home of the Yankees has become one of Major League Baseball`s greenest operations. Photo courtesy The New York Yankees.

Birds-eye view of the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Starting with recycled steel and concrete, and diversion of construction waste, the home of the Yankees has become one of Major League Baseball`s greenest operations. Photo courtesy The New York Yankees.

It was the hottest ticket in town and I—Yankee fan from my Bronx birth—had snagged one in the left field main deck, thanks to my old friend Wendy, who had a ticket to spare. It was May 14th, Derek Jeter night, and the Yankees honored the 42-year-old former captain and future Hall of Famer by retiring his number (2) and unveiling his Monument Park plaque. The pre-game ceremony—for which all remained standing—was filled with career-spanning clutch-play highlights, Jeter-era Yankee greats, and a Wagner opera’s worth of heroic fanfares.

When the emotional hour-long event was over, the ever-considerate Wendy took all the snack boxes, cups and food wrappers up to discard them. She returned after a long absence looking puzzled: there wasn’t a garbage can to be found anywhere. Finally, she spied a maintenance man pushing a cart, and tossed in the trash.

But that trash in her hands wasn’t trash at all. Rather, it was destined for diversion—to be recycled or composted, never to see a landfill. The new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009 across the street from the now-demolished 1923 House that Ruth Built, was designed from the get-go as a sustainable, zero-waste oasis, and not a daily avalanche of food-related garbage, like most stadiums.

Green from the ground up

Thanks to organizations like the 384-member (and growing) Green Sports Alliance, teams and stadiums of all kinds are making strides toward zero waste. The shift is sparing landfills millions of cubic feet of garbage each year, reducing energy and water use, and cutting down on carbon emissions. And the Bronx’s 47,422-seat Yankee Stadium is one of Major League Baseball’s greenest operations.

There was no need to convert the new stadium to a more sustainable profile: it was all baked in, right from the recycled structural steel and concrete aggregate used in its construction.The 31,000 square-foot Great Hall, through which most guests arrive, is built with massive open-air archways that allow for natural cooling and ventilation: no air conditioning required. The energy savings per game from this alone equals about 125 New York City apartments shutting off their air-conditioning for a summer day.

The savings don’t stop there. The stadium’s ultra-efficient plumbing fixtures spare about 3.1 million gallons of water each year, reducing water use by 22 percent. And automated building controls are calibrated to reduce power consumption of lighting and ventilation systems when not in use.

Read the full post here.

To learn more about Green Sports Alliance membership, contact rahul@greensportsalliance.org

MEMBERS INCLUDE...
387
TOTAL MEMBERS
181
TEAMS
191
VENUES
15
LEAGUES