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UVA Fans Score Big with ACC’s First ‘Zero Waste’ Basketball Game

By Matt Kelly

With the aid of student volunteers, UVA basketball fans diverted more than 90 percent of their game-day waste from the landfill. (Photo by Matt Riley, UVA Athletics)

With the aid of student volunteers, UVA basketball fans diverted more than 90 percent of their game-day waste from the landfill. (Photo by Matt Riley, UVA Athletics)

The University of Virginia has become the first Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball team to achieve “zero waste” during this year’s Game Day Challenge. Fans participated in the event during a designated game ­– the Cavaliers’ 53-43 victory over the University of North Carolina on Feb. 27.

Zero Waste International Alliance defines “zero waste” as diverting at least 90 percent of waste from the landfill. With the help of 75 student volunteers, UVA Athletics, ARAMARK and the Office for Sustainability, fans at the sold-out game at the John Paul Jones Arena recycled and composted 94 percent of all waste generated at the arena that night.

The nationwide Game Day Challenge contest promotes waste diversion at college basketball games. UVA fans have long been placing paper, bottles and cans into recycling bins at John Paul Jones Arena, and a new bin was added for food waste and compostable items on Feb. 27. Fans kept 4,454 pounds of waste material from the landfill during the game, recycling and composting 0.48 pounds per person, putting leftover food and service utensils in one bin and plastic cups, bottles and cans in another.

Student volunteers staffed each waste station to sort materials and educate fans on composting and recycling. After the game, volunteers helped clean the stands, segregating compostables and recyclables to ensure the maximum diversion. The materials were then further culled by UVA Recycling.

Approximately 45 percent of the waste was composted and 49 percent recycled.

“This is our sixth year of working collaboratively to reduce landfill waste at athletic events and we’re thrilled to have developed a strategy that gets such high diversion rates that help UVA meet its waste reduction goals as outlined in the UVA Sustainability Plan,” said Nina Morris, sustainability outreach and engagement manager at the Office for Sustainability.

Read the full story here.

Ahead of World Water Day, Dow, Richard Childress Racing and University Research Partners Spotlight Importance of Innovation and Collaboration in Arizona

2017.03.20-NewsFeed-Dow WWD-IMAGEIn the race to secure a sustainable water future, leaders from The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: Dow), NASCAR, Richard Childress Racing (RCR), the University of Arizona and Pima County Wastewater Reclamation met in Tucson to discuss local water challenges and solutions to effectively address water scarcity.

Coinciding with World Water Day, which takes place March 22, the event brought together industry, business, government and academic representatives to explore how alliances and collaborations can further advance technology, processes and strategies that conserve, reclaim and renew resources. Attendees toured the University of Arizona’s Water and Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center after hearing speeches by prominent national and local figures. They then met with researchers, professors and graduate students in a range of interactive research, analytic, character, sensory and wet labs.

“Innovation and collaboration are key to finding sustainable paths forward for society,” remarked Neil Hawkins, corporate vice president and chief sustainability officer at Dow. “Water in the Southwest is a great example of a significant challenge, but one where win-win-win solutions are possible if all the right stakeholders come together with a commitment to collaboration. Dow is pleased to work with University of Arizona, local leaders, and the NASCAR team to help deliver a more sustainable society.”

Austin Dillon, 2-time NASCAR champion, welcomed the crowd with an invigorating speech on water conservation. As an avid sportsman and outdoorsman, Dillon stressed the importance of water resources to individuals and communities alike –whether it be used to light up our cities, manufacture automobiles, and power our own bodies. He then unveiled the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet’s new World Water Day paint scheme. The car will compete in the Camping World 500 in Phoenix on March 19.

“I have always loved fishing, boating and being outdoors near the water,” said Dillon. “World Water Day reminds us that we need to do our part to conserve and recycle resources so that everyone can enjoy it.”

Providing the foundation for the event, the WEST Center brings together diverse groups to address the nation’s growing water and energy needs through research and technology. Dr. Kimberly Espy, senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona noted, “Since its inception, the WEST Center has been a hub for expert researchers across academia, government, and industry to collaboratively address a diverse set of grand challenges in sustainability. Through synergies with world-class companies, such as Dow, we’re able to tackle the water challenges in arid environments like our own Sonoran Desert and beyond.”

Read the full release here.

Atlanta’s New NFL Stadium Is Raising The Bar For Everybody Else

Huffington Post
By Houston Barber

atlantafalcons.com

atlantafalcons.com

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a behemoth, located delicately in the center of downtown Atlanta between skyscrapers, public parks, and thousands of homes. Huge, triangular glass panes make up the outer walls of the $1.5 billion structure and reflect a diverse city that is hosting three professional stadium projects completing in the span of a year (the Braves open their new ballpark in April and the Hawks are planning a massive renovation ready for next season).

In 2017, sports stadiums have become the source of increasing public criticism. Debate has raged on the ethics of billionaire owners threatening their hometown with relocating in exchange for hundreds of millions in stadium funding. Studies, such as the one done by Stanford’s Roger Noll, have created doubt as to how much value a stadium truly adds to a community. So how does a modern mega sports complex answer these questions? Can a billion dollar stadium give back as much as it takes? It’s a question that needs to be answered, and perhaps Atlanta’s Arthur Blank is the one to do it.

The decision to build a new NFL stadium in Atlanta was not without controversy. The former Georiga Dome was built in 1992 and was only 18 years old when plans were announced for its replacement. Negotiations between Blank and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed were productive and no shakedown occurred, but that didn’t prevent critics from balking at the $200 million of public money that was spent on what might not be the most necessary of stadium projects. What the critics didn’t know at the time was just what Blank had up his sleeve; a vision to transform what a stadium could do to a surrounding community, and an ambitious quest to build the most environmentally friendly NFL stadium ever.

To truly understand what this stadium is, you have to understand its surroundings. Mercedes-Benz Stadium sits on the edge of Atlanta’s Westside, a fraught neighborhood that has seen the raw end of real estate deals in the past. When heavy storms roll through the city, rain water tends to overwhelm the sewer system and funnel into the neighborhoods in the Westside. The result is heavy flood damage that never gets repaired. It’s been an issue largely ignored for decades, but Blank and his team developed a plan to use the stadium to alleviate the problem. In the early stages of construction, a 1.1 million gallon storm vault was implemented to catch rainwater. That harvested water will be used for irrigation and the stadium’s cooling system. It’s not a cure-all, but it’s an example of a new kind of awareness in stadium engineering that Mercedes-Benz Stadium hopes to pioneer.

Read the full story here.

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