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Phoenix, Arizona: Diamondbacks Sprout Vertical Garden

By BioCycle
Composting Roundup

Diamondbacks’ food waste composting and vertical garden Photo by Taylor Jackson/Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks’ food waste composting and vertical garden
Photo by Taylor Jackson/Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks, a Major League Baseball team, installed a vertical urban garden that is using compost produced from its fledgling organics diversion program.

Funded by UnitedHealthcare and designed by Flower Street Urban Gardens, the garden’s 180 square feet of vertically hanging planting space just outside the main ballpark gates contains up to 200 assorted herbs, including basil, chives, lavender, oregano and rosemary. Diamondbacks’ concessionaire Levy Restaurants collaborated with the team to choose herbs that can be integrated into its menus. Excess produce is donated to local organizations, such as St. Vincent de Paul.

“The vertical garden has been a wish list item for some time,” explains Graham Rossini, Vice President of Special Projects for the team. “We were finally able to engage a couple of partners to bring in the resources.” UnitedHealthcare is using the garden as a tool to teach healthy eating and demonstrate a growing system that can be installed at home. It sponsors dedicated events to bring youth and school group tours to the ballpark.

Soil amendments for the garden are produced in part from the preconsumer food waste that the Diamondbacks began diverting this season. Over the first 48 home games, the club and its hauler Waste Management have diverted more than 18 tons to GRO-WELL, a Phoenix area composting facility. Based on the year-to-date tonnage, Rossini expects 35 tons will be diverted before the end of the season. “Our primary focus has been on back-of-house kitchen and prep areas to ensure a clean stream of organic materials,” he says. “With success in the more controlled locations, we’ve expanded collection to [kitchens and prep areas in] select concessions stands and subcontractors and will continue to grow as quickly as possible.”

The Diamondbacks and Levy Restaurants have donated over 6 tons of unused concessions’ food to Phoenix’s Church on the Street so far this season, which equates to approximately 10,000 individual meals to those in need.

Read the full highlight here.

Memorial Stadium Works to Improve Sustainability Efforts

By Jenna Puritz, KOMU

2017.08.31-NewsFeed-MO Memorial Coliseum-IMAGE

As a member of the Green Sports Alliance, the athletic department at the University of Missouri is working to improve sustainability efforts.

The events manager for the athletics department said the biggest focus is educating fans and making sure they’re aware of the sustainability efforts and that fans are contributing as well.

“We want people to have to make that choice, so you see a recycle or trash bin and you have to say ‘I have this plastic bottle, and I’m going to choose to put it in one of those bins’,” Tony Wirkus said.

MU researchers released a study today on how much waste is created at Memorial Stadium.

Ron McGarvey, an assistant professor of industrial engineering and public affairs at MU, lead a team of students and other researchers.

“Auditing involves actually setting up a table in the parking lot and tearing open the bag and seeing what you find inside,” McGarvey said. “Whenever we opened a bag we had scales nearby and we would weigh the composition of the bag.”

McGarvey and Wirkus are working toward a broader initiative called “zero-waste.”

According to McGarvey, zero-waste is 90 percent of all the waste that’s diverted away from landfills. In order to determine this waste, people need to know the composition of the waste first, which is what McGarvey’s team did by digging through the waste.

“We examined not only the waste coming out of the stadium, but also we went to the food preparation facility where all the food for the stadium is prepared,” McGarvey said.

The team spent the days leading up to games at the food preparation site, and then audited the waste coming out of the stadium after the games.

McGarvey and Wirkus both said it’s a lengthy process that will take several steps to accomplish the zero-waste goal.

“A big portion of that is fan education,” Wirkus said. “We can put all the recycling containers out there and give out all the blue bags of recycling that we want, but ultimately we need to get the fans coming to the games to buy into that and choose to recycle.”

See the full story here.

 

Penn State University Researcher Helps Beaver Stadium & Other Sports Venues Reduce Waste

The University Network
By Susan Chu

2017.08.02-NewsFeed-Penn State-IMAGE

Penn State University’s Beaver Stadium, home to the Nittany Lions football team, is the second largest university stadium in the U.S. It hosts seven home games each year with attendance for each game reaching anywhere from 110,000 to 150,000. Imagine the waste generated in the stadium and the surrounding parking lots, which together occupy 110 acres of land! Fortunately, Judd Michael, professor of business management for natural resources industry at Penn State, has been helping Beaver Stadium reduce waste on game days. He is also using his expertise to help other sports venues, such as Pocono International Raceway and NASCAR Green, find “green” solutions.

The University Network (TUN) spoke with Michael about his efforts to make sports venues more environmentally friendly.

Zero Waste Showcase at Beaver Stadium

Michael’s efforts to reduce waste at Beaver Stadium started in 2013 when he partnered with Green Sports Alliance and NatureWorks to make the President’s and Governmental Affairs suites section of Beaver Stadium a zero waste showcase. The initiative resulted in 95 percent diversion of landfill waste at the first home game in 2013 and 100 percent diversion by the last game. Diversion in 2014 was also 100 percent at each game. If the same initiative were applied to the whole stadium, over 50 tons of waste would be diverted after each game.

Michael also collaborated with various departments at Penn State, including the President’s Office, Office of Donor Relations, Office of Governmental Affairs, Hospitality Services, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Office of Physical Plant, to make the initiative a success.

He relied on more than 30 Penn State students as his zero-waste ambassadors at each game to educate and engage fans on the zero-waste goals. “I have had multiple undergrad and graduate classes working on the campus zero waste projects,” Michael told TUN. “This has been good experience for the students and they have made a tangible impact on operations while gaining valuable skills.”

The initiative introduced the use of eco-friendly cups, utensils, plates, and straws from Ingeo. “Packaging and foodservice items were the first step in achieving our zero waste goals,” said Michael in a statement. “Having Ingeo’s ASTM-certified products allowed us to have confidence that the materials we collected would be compatible with our university composting system. We were also confident that the suites clientele would not be disappointed in the performance of the foodservice items provided by StalkMarket.”

Compostable materials from each game were taken to Penn State’s own composting facility and converted into mulch over time, so it could be used on campus or sold to others. “We are lucky to have our own state-of-the-art composting facility where we can test various materials and send compostables with a very small transportation footprint,” Michael said. He credits NatureWorks and PepsiCo for their contribution to the university’s composting efforts.

Read the full story here.

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