Cal Athletics Partners with Recology, Initiates Zero-Waste Goal

Collaborative Effort to Help Preserve Natural Resources

November 10, 2011

When a modernized and seismically improved California Memorial Stadium reopens with its fully renovated west side in September 2012, one of the building’s goals will be to aim for zero waste.

The effort is a collaboration between Cal Athletics and Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, along with corporate sponsor Recology.

To help jumpstart the initiative, three zero-waste games will be held in Haas Pavilion this year:

  • Friday, Nov. 18 – Volleyball vs. Oregon State, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 17 – Women’s Basketball vs. Ohio State, 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 4 – Men’s Basketball vs. Arizona State, 2 p.m.

“We all must do our part to preserve our natural resources, and these early efforts are important first steps as we move toward a zero-waste goal at Memorial Stadium,” Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. “Through awareness and practice, achieving our sustainability objectives will help protect our environment for all to enjoy.”

When Golden Bear fans return to Memorial Stadium, as well as attend the three designated contests in Haas Pavilion in 2011-12, they will see bins for recycling and composting located throughout the facilities, instead of trash receptacles, with the slogan Blue & Gold Makes Green. In addition, Cal Athletics’ concessions, catering and merchandizing partners will modify their menus and packaging to help reach the zero-waste goal.

“I applaud Cal’s leadership in sustainability by adopting a zero-waste athletics plan,” said Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak, whose district includes the Cal campus. “To save our planet, we must lighten our collective presence in the world, and intelligent reuse will ensure more resources for future generations.”

Cal joins a small, but growing list of universities nationwide striving for zero waste at athletic events. Others include UC Davis, Colorado and Ohio State. At the professional level, the Green Sports Alliance lists more than 50 franchises and venues that are aiming to reduce their environment impact.

“I am excited Cal Athletics will become a leader in zero-waste facilities,” said Lin King, manager of Campus Recycling and Refuse Services who recently moved to Berkeley after implementing a similar program at UC Davis. “One of the major reasons I decided to join UC Berkeley was to assist Memorial Stadium in becoming a zero-waste site.”

The Cal program is part of the campus’ overall commitment to be a responsible steward of resources and demonstrate leadership in sustainable business practices. The plan is also in line with the University’s sustainability policy and the City of Berkeley’s goal of achieving zero waste by the year 2020, eliminating all materials send to landfills.

Recology, a recycling collection company, often works behind the scenes to encourage customers to embrace the concept of zero waste.

“Our partnership with Cal Athletics models a comprehensive recycling system that focuses on waste reduction, waste diversion from landfills and reuse of waste material,” said Gary C. Foss, company manager for Recology East Bay. “Additionally, this program highlights Cal’s commitment to employing best practices in the management of environmental matters.”

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