Zero Waste Sporting Events Gain Popularity

January 29, 2014

(Photo courtesy of @WMPhoenixOpen)
The crowds at the 16th hole love Bubba Watson and the greenest show on grass.

Fans who attend the Cactus League game at Salt River Fields on March 13 between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Seattle Mariners will likely see lots of familiar sights, hot dogs, scorecards, peanuts, but there is one thing they will not see, trash cans. The team is partnering with Phoenix and other groups to hold a zero waste game. John Trujillo, the city’s assistant public works director, said everything will be either recycled or composted.

"One of the ideas we were thinking about is, what could we bring attention to the importance of trash as a resource, and we thought this would be a perfect venue," said Trujillo. "We could have up to 10,000 people there at the stadium, people, they like sports, and we thought this would be a perfect place to communicate the importance of recycling and composting."

Trujillo said the city and the Diamondbacks are looking into a zero waste regular season game and are hoping to ditch trash cans at more spring training games next season.

But, if it is zero waste you want, you do not have to wait for spring training. The Phoenix Open, which bills itself as the "Greenest Show on Grass," gets underway in earnest on Thursday. Its title sponsor, Waste Management, is not planning on shipping anything to landfills after the tournament ends and has been doing this for the past few years.

Scott Jenkins is the chairman of the Green Sports Alliance and the vice president of Ballpark Operations for the Seattle Mariners. He explained zero waste in sports.