Fans don’t attend sporting events just for the game; They attend sporting events for the experience. Whether eating a hot dog at the ballpark, rooting for your team at a hockey game, or making a “My First Football Game” sign with the kids, going to games creates memories.
It’s crucial for sports complexes, stadiums and fieldhouses to keep their walkways, bleachers, bathrooms and concession stands clean and safe for fans. And by offering the right trash and recycling receptacles in the right places, sports venues can encourage responsible disposal, keep spaces clean and encourage sustainable recycling practices. Here are four steps to a better waste and recycling program.
Step 1: Conduct a Waste & Recycling Audit
The first step to a better waste and recycling program is understanding your current waste landscape. A waste audit can be performed by an in-house team or a waste consultant. This process analyzes common items that are discarded within and outside of the sports venue, their quantities, and the current recycling compliance rate (if recycling receptacles are available). From there, stadiums can better choose the type of setup they need to reach waste goals.
- Single-stream waste
One container for all trash, recycling and compost.
- Dual-stream waste and recycling
One container for trash (landfill) items, one bin for all recycled materials like plastic, glass, paper, aluminum and cardboard.
- Multi-stream waste and recycling
Multiple bins for different items based on what materials are most often discarded.
- Examples: Trash (landfill), compost (food waste), plastic (for cups), aluminum (for cans).
Multi-stream waste and recycling can help reduce recycling contamination and increase compliance. Patrons are less likely to use a receptacle if it is overflowing with trash. This can also make it harder to empty and may attract bugs or vermin. With a multi-stream system, receptacles will need to be emptied less often as there are more containers per location.
Step 2: Choose the Right Receptacles
Based on your waste audit, it’s time to decide on the right containers for the job. You’ll want sizes that align with the amount of waste produced per game and staff that can address emptying cans or cleaning litter. Containers should fit into their environment but still stand out enough to be located easily from afar. Choose a receptacle that offers decals or panels to clearly label each container (especially in a multi-stream setup) to ensure the right items get disposed of in the right receptacle.
Well-placed trash and recycling receptacles can not only reduce unsightly litter but can build brand equity too. Personalize your receptacles, like the PolyTec™ Series Receptacles from Commercial Zone, with decals, or custom panels with your branding or even another sponsorship placement opportunity for advertisers. If an advertiser changes or updates a logo, simply swap out the acrylic panel as they did at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park here.
Step 3: Place Receptacles Correctly
Receptacle locations are crucial to usage. Recommended locations for trash and recycling receptacles for sports stadiums include parking lots for tailgate waste, near doorways, close to concessions, near bathroom exits and scattered around the walkways to seating areas. These locations are not one-size-fits-all. When conducting your waste audit, identify areas where waste accumulates and consider placing receptacles in this location. Once placed, keep an eye on litter rates and move or add to your fleet as needed.
Step 4: Reuse Recycled Materials
Showcase your organization’s dedication to the environment and sustainable business by using recycled materials for good. For example, Mercedes-Benz Stadium collects recycled aluminum cans, cashes them in and donates the funds to Habitat for Humanity to build housing. It gets awfully cold in Minnesota. The Minnesota Vikings recycle and compost waste to create steam that helps heat its entire downtown. If all your trash and recycling is going into a landfill, you’re not only missing out on an additional cash flow, but you’re also hurting the environment and missing an opportunity to help make the world a better place.
Searching for the right receptacles for your stadium, fieldhouse or sports venue? Your #1 draft pick is Commercial Zone. From ready-to-ship stock options to personalized products and custom creations, Commercial Zone has the right receptacles for your team, venue, and fans. Browse Commercial Zone products and learn more at Commercialzone.com. Looking for guidance? Call 800-782-7273 to chat with one of our experts.