Waste Management, in partnership with the Boston Red Sox and Aramark, celebrated Earth Day 2017 a bit early with a post-game waste-sort event at Fenway Park in Boston on Monday afternoon.
The event followed the Red Sox’s traditional Patriots Day – Marathon Monday morning game vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. Volunteers joined employees of the three organizations along with Major League Baseball’s facility operations senior coordinator, Jason Kobeda, and the City of Boston’s recycling policy director, Susan Casino in sorting trash inside Fenway Park immediately following the game.
A typical game day at Fenway generates more than seven tons of trash, and Monday’s game was no exception. Monday’s waste-sorting effort resulted in the collection of 2,178 pounds of recyclables and 221 pounds of organics from trash – which might have otherwise wound up in a Massachusetts landfill.
“Sorting the volume of waste generated by more than 40,000 fans requires teamwork, and our volunteer crew was exceptional,” said Michelle Lee Guiney of Waste Management. “With multiple post-game events going on around us, including a party for 10,000 marathon runners, they worked diligently to gather and sort materials under challenging circumstances. We sincerely appreciate their flexibility, good humor and generosity!”
In the spirit of the event, volunteers received upcycled T-shirts from The Red Sox Team Store, which are new but obsolete Red Sox tees turned inside out and specially branded for the event. Through upcycling, each repurposed cotton T-shirt conserves 700 gallons of water, and prevents the emission of carbon dioxide and the application of pesticides needed to grow cotton for new shirts. Volunteers also brought their own reusable water bottles.
Fenway Park provides ample recycling and composting bins, but a lot of items that could be sorted are often thrown into regular trash bins. Waste-sorting events such as this showcase the positive environmental impact of taking a few extra seconds to self-sort cups, trays, wrappers, food and other items. “Recovering discarded items makes a tremendous difference in diverting waste from our landfills, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Guiney.
“The waste sorting event is a great showcase of the commitment by the Red Sox to promoting sustainable practices throughout the season at Fenway Park,” said Paul Hanlon, senior director, ballpark operations and sustainability, Major League Baseball. “Pursuing a zero-waste event is no easy task and we applaud the Red Sox ownership, the entire organization and their partners for their hard work and environmental leadership in this endeavor.”
The Boston Red Sox organization is a leader in sustainability initiatives and was named the Bay State’s 2016 Recycler of the Year by MassRecycle. Waste Management’s “Total Recycling Program” and Aramark Corporation are integral partners in Fenway Park’s award-winning materials management (sorting, recycling, composting) programs.
Program Update: Boston Red Sox, WM and Aramark completed a follow up waste sort event following the 5/25/17 game, sorting over 4 tons of trash and recovering 54% of the trash for recycling and organics. Additionally, this program is featured as part of June’s cover story for a national publication, BioCycle.