Recycling: Tackling Sports Arenas

All big U.S. cities have at least one sports venue, whether it’s a football stadium, a ballpark, a basketball arena, or even a college stadium. Some cities even have all four or even more! Sports can be a huge deal, and people love to drink while they are there whether it’s beer, or just to stay hydrated.

Now here’s a question how many of these sports venues recycle their recyclable materials? Well that’s a pretty good question, because we were unable to find actual statistics for this. Recycling isn’t a hard issue to tackle at these venues.  The amount of aluminum beer bottles, plastic cups, and water or soda bottles that scatter the ground after a game is indescribable. Let’s do some math, Cowboys Stadium holds 80,000 people.  Let’s say the stadium is full and every seat has 2 beverages.  That’s 160,000 bottles that are left in the trash. There is a very simple solution to add recycling to your trash pick up after the game, and even during the game.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 4.06.53 PM

We’ll start with recycling during the game. Although, there aren’t many trashcans in the seating area, they scatter the food courts and walk ways. Why not add a recycling bin? And if the venue does not have single stream recycling, add a few bins, just ensure they are clearly labeled. The majority of people who see a recycling bin will recycle their waste if possible. And if they don’t, then that’s a conversation we will need to have with them personally. Recycling is easy, and most guests will participate if given the option.

Now for after the game, when trash scatters the chairs, ground, and stairways. Someone obviously has to pick this up. Well, why not split up the trash crew. Have some specifically for waste, and others for recyclable materials. The venues won’t even need to hire more employees; it will simply split the work. We aren’t adding waste, we just splitting it up.

If installing a recycling program into a venue seems so easy, why aren’t more venues participating in recycling? Is it because of the added cost of recycling? Because I am pretty sure they can make that back on their $8 domestic beers, and $4 waters. It doesn’t seem as though venues aren’t at a loss for profit with their prices.

So, again I ask why aren’t sports venues recycling? This is an issue that needs to be brought to the surface with baseball in full swing and football season right around the corner. Help us get the issue out and addressed, it’s everybody’s earth and we need to start taking care of it.

We’ll get in to composting next time.

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