MLB, ASU students team up to hit home run on zero-waste initiative
PHOENIX — Major League Baseball has turned to students at an Arizona university in an effort to implement a zero-waste initiative at one of its spring training ballparks.
Eleven students who are studying at Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability have teamed up with the league to promote zero waste practices at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
The Scottsdale stadium is the spring home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
Colin Tetreault with the university told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the group is working with the stadium to amend its infrastructure to make it more environmentally friendly.
For example, Tetreault said, all of the service-ware is 100 percent compostable.
“We’re actually changing and amending the infrastructure to capture specifically recycling commodities, mainly things like cans and cups, soda cans and beer bottles,” he said.
“Teams have been working, say from the concession area’s perspective, to ensure that the stuff that is provided to fans can actually stay out of a landfill.”
Tetreault said the group will also use games and announcements on the message board to teach fans where they can recycle food and drink items that they purchase at the stadium’s concession stands.
“We’re actually running things like PSAs before, during and after the game,” he said. “We’re actually running things like Twitter polls and online social media competitions to get fans on the JumboTron…so they get a better understanding of where — which is the right bin to stick your cup in.”
The zero-waste initiatives will extend well past the fans, too: Tetreault said grass clippings and landscaping will be turned into compost.
Tetreault said the university hopes to expand the program to all Cactus League stadiums over the next few years.
KTAR News’ Bob McClay contributed to this report.