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2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open sets sustainability and environmental responsibility milestones

August 7, 2013

HOUSTON — The 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO) earned Gold Certification from the Council for Responsible Sport for its socially and environmentally responsible efforts in the planning and execution of the tournament. This is the first PGA TOUR tournament to receive such a designation.

The 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open diverted 100 percent of tournament waste away from landfills and into recycling and composting facilities, as part of the tournament’s Zero Waste Challenge.

In addition, the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open earned UL Environment’s landfill waste diversion, or “Zero Waste to Landfill” claim validation. UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), provides companies with third-party verification of environmental claims. Zero Waste to Landfill is the highest designation of landfill diversion rate classified by UL Environment. Transparent reporting and detailed data proved to the organization that the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open achieved a 100 percent landfill diversion rate with 12 percent incineration with energy recovery.

“One hundred percent diversion, Council for Responsible Sport Gold Certification and UL Environment Zero Waste to Landfill validation at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open are accomplishments that Waste Management is extremely proud of and truly illustrate the company’s commitment to sustainability,” said David Aardsma, Waste Management chief sales and marketing officer. “These amazing achievements are truly a team effort, with significant contributions from Waste Management’s sustainability services and operations teams, our tournament host, The Thunderbirds, other tournament vendors and sponsors, and the more than 525,000 fans attending the event who support Waste Management’s Zero Waste Challenge.”

"The Waste Management Phoenix Open is by far the biggest and most complex event to have achieved certification from the Council for Responsible Sport," said Executive Director Keith Peters. "To have earned Gold Certification and achieved every credit applied for is a remarkable accomplishment. As you would expect, the Waste Management team had every resource management challenge completely under control, but they excelled in all areas of sustainability -- from purchasing to food to community legacy -- and their communications efforts were educational and inspiring. In terms of environmental and socially responsible event production, the Waste Management Phoenix Open was the total package."

“Waste Management is clearly committed to reducing the environmental impact of waste, and has taken that mission a step further by extending it to a major sporting event,” said Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment. “We recognize the hard work involved in eliminating landfill waste from a marquee sporting event like the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open. By achieving UL Environment’s Zero Waste to Landfill claim validation, Waste Management continues to motivate the public to understand and care about how such events can impact the environment.”

The Zero Waste Challenge, an initiative aimed at controlling materials brought into the event and educating vendors and patrons about proper disposal of materials, produced significant results at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Waste Management (WM) strives to minimize the tournament’s waste generation making the tournament the “Greenest Show on Grass”. Highlights of these efforts include:

  • Recycling: Plastics, including HDPE and PET, aluminum, paper, cardboard, glass, and metal were sent to WM’s Arizona Community Ecocenter Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and strategic recyclers for processing.
  • Composting: Food, napkins, plates and paper cups used during the tournament were sent to the Maricopa Organics Recycling Facility to process the materials into compost. The facility is a collaboration between WM and Garick, a strategic venture in which WM has a majority ownership interest. Wood from the event was also sent to the facility to be turned into compost.
  • Waste-to-Energy: Scrim and carpet were sent to a company that recovers the energy and mineral components from waste for use as fuel, and for product additives used in manufacturing processes. This conserves fossil fuels and natural mineral resources and diverts the materials from landfills.
  • Donation/Reuse: The approximately 140,000 used golf balls filling the WM water feature on the 18th hole lake were donated to the Junior Golf Association of Arizona. The WM water feature on the 15th hole lake incorporated 750,000 golf tees made from 100-percent recycled content. These tees were maintained and will be reused at the 2014 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

The recycling and waste-to-energy efforts at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open conserved the following resources:

  •     536 mature trees
  •     526 cubic yards of landfill airspace
  •     420,900 kilowatt-hours of electricity
  •     300,300 gallons of water

Recycling, composting and waste-to-energy efforts avoided 243 metric tons (MTCO2E) of greenhouse gas emissions.

Waste Management’s sustainability services team continually looks for ways to advance the sustainable efforts of the company’s premiere PGA TOUR tournament sponsorship. These professionals help hundreds of Waste Management clients across the United States and Canada realize their environmental goals by recommending business practices that reduce waste, save energy and provide a “next life” for resources they no longer need.

Detailed sustainability reporting will be released this fall in the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open Sustainability Report at thinkgreen.com.

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