February 13, 2014 – The Township of Langley is tackling waste and going for environmental gold at its recreation facilities, thanks to a new partnership.

The municipality has joined forces with the Green Sports Alliance, a non-profit organization with a mission to help sports teams, venues, and leagues enhance their environmental performance.

Founding members of the Alliance include the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Seahawks, and the Seattle Mariners. The Township is the first municipality to officially partner with the organization.

“This really is an excellent fit,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “The Township of Langley has a goal to decrease waste, increase energy efficiency, and conserve water within our facilities. Having access to the professionals, expertise, and resources available through the Green Sports Alliance will help us make informed decisions so we can better meet those goals and reduce costs.”

Green Sports Alliance members represent more than 210 sports teams and venues from 16 different leagues. Since February of 2010, the Alliance has brought together venue operators, sports team representatives and executives, and environmental scientists to exchange information about better practices and develop solutions to their environmental challenges that are cost-competitive and innovative.

“We are very excited to welcome the Township of Langley along with their venues and teams to the Green Sports Alliance,” said Scott Jenkins, Chairman of the Alliance and VP of Ballpark Operations for the Seattle Mariners. “The addition of the municipality significantly strengthens our network, and we look forward to supporting their many sports greening efforts. We expect that this partnership and demonstrated leadership by the Township of Langley signals the start of deeper involvement from municipalities across North America.”

The partnership with the Township of Langley will see programs and tools put into place at the Langley Events Centre, George Preston Recreation Centre, McLeod Athletic Park, Willoughby Community Park, Aldergrove Athletic Park, and the Civic Facility.

Froese noted that the Township of Langley in partnership with Ten Feet Sports and Entertainment recently launched a comprehensive Zero Waste program at the Langley Events Centre (LEC). One of the first of its kind for mid-sized arenas in BC, the program aims to decrease the amount of waste generated and keep it out of landfills.

“We are already starting to see a significant reduction in the amount of waste at the Langley Events Centre,” Froese said. “The Zero Waste program serves as a flagship project for the Township and we would like to see this kind of initiative continued throughout our facilities and parks.”

Through the LEC program, zero waste stations have been created throughout the Centre, outdoor recycling receptacles were installed, and food waste and other organic materials are now collected and kept out of the garbage. Single serve items and non-recyclable packaging have been switched out for more sustainable products and a collection program for everything from paper, cardboard, batteries, and light bulbs to styrofoam, soft plastics, electronics, and small appliances has been established.

The benefits are financial as well as environmental, as the LEC has seen a 50% reduction in waste collection costs since the Zero Waste program launched in September.

Through the new partnership, the Green Sports Alliance will provide additional tools and strategies for waste diversion, energy efficiency, and water conservation that will help other Township facilities discover additional cost savings and reduce their environmental impact.

“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to protecting the earth for generations to come and this is a big step towards a greener future,” Froese said. “We look forward to seeing this partnership’s positive impact.”