As the Ravens prepare for the beginning of another successful NFL season, so does the Maryland Stadium Authority in operating their roost. And, like the Ravens, MSA is going for an NFL title of sorts.
According to Jeff Provenzano, Director of Football Operations, MSA partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Stadium Managers Association in a program called NFL Bragging Rights. All participating teams will maintain a spreadsheet account of recyclables according to category (cardboard, glass, plastic, metals, etc.) and a winner will be determined by the stats they achieve.
Without relying on draft picks and off-season trades, the MSA team has been implementing policies and applying resources to make M&T Bank Stadium and its grounds the greenest facility in the league. And, like the team, MSA is a preseason favorite because of its ongoing commitment to excellence.
2009 was a banner year for recycling at M&T. The target was 100 tons total, averaging at least 8 tons a game. The season’s total of 111 tons exceeded the annual goal, even with the December blizzard reducing operations on the last game of the season which reduced the average to 7.5 tons per game.
Since 2006, when the program was revamped, the yearly totals have increased by 300%.
The ambitious goal for this year is 200 tons total, averaging 12 tons per regular season game. Beginning with the August 28th preseason outing against the Giants, the tailgate lots will be fitted for recycling -- with an anticipated 3-6 tons to be gathered there.
More than game day trash is recycled at M&T. Cooking grease, scrap steel (an average of 20 tons annually,) electronic equipment, batteries and light bulbs are all responsibly reused.
M&T Bank Stadium has been a “zero landfill facility” since 2007. What can’’t be recycled is carted to the nearby Resco plant and converted to steam energy.
Other environmental improvements have taken place in recent years. By changing operations, MSA has managed to reduce water usage by 40 - 47% from 2005. Annual water consumption has been reduced from 15 million gallons to 8-9 million.
Since 2005 MSA has reduced electricity usage by 2 million kWh. A major savings came with installation of new high definition video boards. The old boards required four 24-ton air conditioning units in each end zone to keep them operational. The new energy-efficient system does not need climate control, greatly reducing energy consumption on game day. All screen and electrical components of the old video boards were recycled.
On the north end of Camden Yards, Oriole Park has consistently increased recycled tonnage over the past three years. In 2008, one ton of refuse was recycled for every 25,000 fans. In 2009, those numbers increased to one ton for every 22,000 fans, with 68 total tons recycled.
In 2010, the amount took a dramatic leap to one ton per 16,000 fans, with nearly 100 tons projected for the season. In 2009, the list of acceptable recyclables was expanded to include cans, bottles, cups, plastic tubs for cotton candy, and clean paperboard trays. These all contribute to the increased tonnage. In 2010, Oriole Park is on pace to exceed last year’s recycling tonnage by 30%.
Recycling comes from three major sources –– materials collected after the game in the seating bowl, those generated from recycling containers located throughout the stadium concourse, and those generated by concessionaires.
In addition to the game day recycling, Oriole Park at Camden Yards recycles the following:
• Fluorescent lights
• Cardboard boxes from shipments
• White paper from offices
• Newspaper, books and magazines
• Auto batteries
“The Maryland Stadium Authority is committed to leading by example in implementing Governor O’Malley’s ambitious environmental goals,” said John Morton, III, Chairman. “We regard our stewardship as an opportunity to showcase these efforts and educate the millions who visit each year to share this commitment to recycling and resource conservation.”