Waste Management (NYSE: WM) today announced that it will continue the Zero Waste Challenge for the second year at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open. The initiative is aimed at controlling materials brought into the event and educating vendors and patrons about proper disposal of materials, so that eventually zero waste is sent to the landfill. In 2013, Waste Management’s goal is to divert 100 percent of tournament waste away from landfills and into recycling and composting facilities. The 2012 Waste Management Phoenix Open achieved the highest diversion rate of any major sporting event and was the first-ever major sporting event not to use trash receptacles. In the program’s inaugural year, more than 97 percent of tournament waste was diverted from the landfill. “Considering the phenomenal attendance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Zero Waste Challenge is a significant achievement led by the Waste Management sustainability services team and embraced by The Thunderbirds and tournament vendors and patrons,” said David Aardsma, Waste Management chief sales and marketing officer. “In 2013, Waste Management continues the Zero Waste Challenge and will highlight our sustainability and environmental solutions around the course.” With no trash receptacles along the course, Waste Management will offer two alternatives to disposal - recycling bins and compost bins, which will help to recover nearly all tournament materials. Once again, Recycling Ambassadors will play an important role in educating tournament attendees, monitoring recycling and compost receptacles, answering fan questions and increasing awareness of the waste diversion goals for the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open. This year, Waste Management will double the number of Recycling Ambassadors from 500 to 1,000. Waste Management is now recruiting for these crucial volunteers and encouraging the community to participate and sign-up for one of several four-hour shifts during tournament week by visiting www.wmphoenixopen.com/volunteer. Waste Management’s sustainable, “green” initiatives showcased along the course in 2013 will include:
- Recycling stations in high-traffic areas will be staffed with 1,000 Recycling Ambassadors to educate patrons and answer any questions about using the recycling and compost bins.
- Waste Management will work closely with WMPO vendors to monitor their use of water throughout the week in order to decrease overall consumption.
- In an effort to turn waste into a resource, Waste Management will bring all scrap wood used at the tournament to the Maricopa Organics Recycling Facility developed in collaboration with Garick, which will grind the wood scraps into mulch or biofuel supply.
- Use of greywater, or wastewater generated from the concessionaire’s kitchens, will be recycled for use in portable toilets. Last year this effort conserved thousands of gallons of fresh water.
- Patrons can dispose of their compost and recycling materials more efficiently in 60 Waste Management solar-powered compactors along the course (these machines hold five times the amount of materials as a traditional non-compacting bin, which reduces the number of trips, and therefore, the natural resources needed to service them).
- Four compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks will transport the materials that are collected during the tournament. The fuel in these trucks burns cleaner than a standard diesel truck and therefore will reduce fleet emissions associated with transportation.