Stadium environments welcome thousands of fans every year and larger stadium venues seat upwards of 100,000 spectators at a single event. A West Coast stadium realized that the high volume of fans was resulting in a commensurately high volume of trash. They learned that more than 20 tons of trash could be produced over the course of a weekend during football season. This could mean hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash going into landfills each year. The stadium wanted to find a sustainable alternative. They became a member of the Green Sports Alliance and the newly formalized Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge in 2012. To meet their sustainability goals and to be competitive in the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge, the stadium partnered with Marsden Services to provide environmentally conscious cleaning and waste sorting services.
Marsden was already providing janitorial services at the stadium when the client joined the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge. In order to be competitive in the Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge, the stadium needed a 90% compliance score or higher for at least 12 out of the 16 home games each season. As the service provider, Marsden was uniquely positioned to help the stadium develop best practices to achieve Zero Waste. In response to this new service need, Marsden created a specialized operations plan for the stadium. As part of this new operations plan, Marsden’s cleaning teams sort all the trash produced after an event by hand. Waste sorting by hand is the most reliable way of separating recyclable, compostable, and landfill items. Even though cleaning teams often have only a small window of time between events – sometimes as little as eight hours to clean up from one event and prepare for another – Marsden hand sorts all the trash at the stadium to ensure accuracy. In addition to structuring an operations plan that enabled our cleaning team to efficiently sort trash in a very short amount of time, Marsden also helped the stadium’s Zero Waste efforts by working with the other onsite vendors to establish new sustainable habits. By partnering with the other vendors, Marsden helped the stadium advance a cohesive effort to reduce landfill waste.
The Zero Waste operations plan that Marsden created with the stadium has enabled the client to realize and continue to achieve their Zero Waste goals. This operations plan provides a long-term option for environmentally friendly practices. In addition, the program has provided the client with cost savings and useful data for future improvement, vendor decisions, and additional sustainable choices.