The Recycling Council of British Columbia has announced that Vancouver Whitecaps FC are the recipient of the 2011 Innovation Award. The award recognizes the club’s Greenzone Sustainability Kick program, an initiative implemented in 2009 in partnership with Evergreen Sports Programming Ltd. The mandate of the initiative was to decrease the amount of waste produced at its home games by increasing recycling and composting resources available at its facilities.
“It is certainly a great honour to receive this award from the Recycling Council of British Columbia. We have worked hard to implement the program and have enjoyed tremendous success since we started,” said Hillary Campbell, Whitecaps FC Director of Event Operations. “Back in 2009, we only had 10 per cent of our waste being recycled after each home game, and now we’re up to 85 per cent with only a 0.02% cross contamination rate. That is a great achievement and we hope we can eventually reach our goal of 95 per cent. Considering the larger crowds we have been attracting at Empire Field, it’s really something that we are proud of.”
Such success was achieved by encouraging both fans and food vendors to not only recycle or compost materials at designated waste stations, but also to reduce the amount of garbage coming into the stadium by using reusable containers and serving in bulk rather than single serve items.
The first phase of the plan was initiated at Swangard Stadium back in 2009, and early results showed an improvement from 10 per cent to 70 per cent after just one season. With the move of Whitecaps FC to Major League Soccer and Bell Pitch at Empire Field in the spring of 2011 came the Greenzone initiative. The inaugural season has seen an even greater commitment to the effort from both the fans and the organization to ensure the organization’s success.
The Recycling Council of British Columbia is a multi-sectoral, non-profit, membership driven organization that promotes the principles of zero waste through information services, the exchange of ideas and research.