Waste Management Phoenix Open achieves ‘zero waste’ for third year in a row

Sep 23, 2015, 11:00 AM

PHOENIX — For the third year in a row, officials with the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament said all waste was eliminated from the 2015 outing.

Despite a record-high attendance of 564,368 over the week-long tournament, the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open diverted 100 percent of waste away from landfills, according to a recent sustainability report.

Janette Micelli, external communications manager for Waste Management, said achieving a zero waste event was widely important, especially after having more than half a million people in one area for seven days straight.

“That’s a lot of people consuming a lot of food and beverages,” she said. “To be able to take all of those materials and responsibly do something with them versus having all of that waste go to landfills is phenomenal.”

Micelli said the waste was donated to recycling, compost or waste-to-energy facilities. The materials that could be spared, such as leftover food or decorations, were locally donated to organizations such as Waste Not and Habitat For Humanity.

Michele Grossman, managing principal for Waste Management Sustainability Services, said the high emphasis put on the yearly tournament to eliminate all waste from landfills contributed to the organization being able to hit their goal for the third year in a row.

“We took our sustainability efforts at the Waste Management Phoenix Open to a whole new level this year and it showed in the results,” she said in a recent press release.“We continue to advance our efforts year after year to show the sporting world — and the rest of the world — that ‘green’ is possible.”

UL Environment, one of the outside parties that validates the sustainability results, awarded the Waste Management Phoenix Open with their highest landfill diversion rate designation, Zero Waste to Landfill Operations.

Lisa Meier, vice president and general manager for UL Environment, said the Open is an excellent example for other highly attended sporting events to encourage them to reduce waste as well.

“Waste Management continues to take a leadership role in modeling sustainable event management practices, which we hope will become the industry standard going forward,” she said in a recent press release. “The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open’s achievement in obtaining UL’s landfill diversion claim validation for the best-attended golf event in the world demonstrates a level of commitment which will inspire ongoing positive change in this market space and beyond.”

In addition to the award, the Council for Responsible Sport granted the tournament with a two-year Evergreen business certification, acknowledging their insightful business practices.

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Waste Management Phoenix Open achieves ‘zero waste’ for third year in a row