The 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open is a golf tournament that is going for the record books when it comes to the Zero Waste initiative which has become significantly more popular in recent years. The event is scheduled to be held on January 31 and run through February 3 at the TPC Scottsdale Course. While last year’s attendance of 518,262 was only slightly below that of 2008’s record-breaking year of 538,356 attendees, the tournament was still able to divert over 97% of the generated waste into recyclable alternatives (EPonline.com). Last year was technically the inaugural year for the Waste Management sponsorship and their Zero Waste Challenge. This year they are going for a full 100% in diverted waste.
David Aardsma, Waste Management chief sales and marketing officer is quoted: “Considering the phenomenal attendance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Zero Waste Challenge is a significant achievement led by the Waste Management sustainability services team and embraced by The Thunderbirds (a branch of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce that is a special events committee) and tournament vendors and patrons. In 2013, Waste Management continues the Zero Waste Challenge and will highlight our sustainability and environmental solutions around the course.” There will be no trash cans around the course, and no dumpsters for all the waste to go into. All refuse removal will be conducted through recycling bins and compost bins.
The tournament is multi-faceted in regard to the benefits achieved from its being held. The Zero Waste Challenge is a major push in the right direction when it comes to responsible Phoenix waste removal, while much of the proceeds are being donated to Arizona Charities to go toward the greater good. Sales for the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open are being sold at a record pace and the Skyboxes are filling up with a wait list that is continuing to grow by the day. It is a testament to the environmental efforts being conducted in new and innovative ways and will hopefully become a blueprint for other tours across the United States and like events around the world as well.
Waste Management is pulling out all the stops when it comes to “green” initiatives for the tournament. Water usage will be closely monitored throughout the course of the event. All wastewater from the kitchens is going to be recycled and used in the portable latrine facilities. All along the length of the course there will be 60 Waste Management solar-powered compactors to dispose of refuse. Even the trucks transporting these materials are going to be more energy efficient. CNG (compressed natural gas) trucks will be used in this process, which are a cleaner alternative to other diesel burning trucks that would typically be used. It is a forward- thinking approach such as this that is being used around the world to help with the environmental plight we have gotten ourselves into.