Philadelphia Union’s Subaru Park to become first zero landfill stadium in the U.S.

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

The new bins will help make the park's operations more sustainable.

Subaru Park, home of the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer (MLS) team, is set to become the first zero landfill stadium in the U.S. with a little help from their naming rights sponsor. Think about how many popcorn boxes, cotton candy bags, nacho trays, and plastic cups are left over after a match. In 2019 alone, Subaru Park recycled more than 40,000 pounds of cardboard.

With the help of know-how behind the Subaru Love Promise campaign, the stadium will work to remove the estimated 357,480 pounds of waste it would typically put into landfills each year from the cycle. That’s the equivalent of a Philadelphia cheesesteak that’s 19 miles high and 50 miles wide, or the height of 20 Mt. Everests-worth of stacked aluminum cans.

Subaru

The new bins sort waste into three different categories.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

“At Subaru, we’ve spent years perfecting our Zero Landfill philosophy and helping organizations reduce their environmental footprint. We’ve learned a lot, and we’re thrilled to bring our knowledge to Subaru Park and the greater Philadelphia area,” said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “With the goal of becoming the first Zero Landfill stadium in MLS, we hope our work with the Philadelphia Union will set the standard for environmental best practices at professional sports stadiums nationwide.”

TO achieve its goal, Subaru Park will deploy 111 MAX-R Containers throughout various location within the facility. These new front-of-house waste containers house three different streams of waste disposal and are similar to what you’ll find in your local Whole Foods or Wegmans dining area.

Subaru will provide ambassadors to help educate fans with waste disposal and share Subaru Zero Landfill project best practices. Once the waste is collected in the MAX-R containers, the Union will be assisted in the waste removal process with the help of Spectra, Recycle Track Systems, Inc. (RTS), and Covanta Environmental Solutions.

“The partnership between the Union and Subaru of America was founded on the vision and desire to create a better future for our fans and surrounding community,” said Tim McDermott, Philadelphia Union President. “In the year since our partnership was announced, we’ve made great strides in reaching our ambitions through initiatives that support pet adoption and helping food insecure populations. As a club known for innovation and a community-first mindset, our mission to achieve Zero Landfill status is a milestone in our relationship with Subaru and the history of our organization.”

The waste that can’t be recycled, such as restroom paper towels, utensils, and other items, will be hauled by Recycle Track systems and sent to Covanta Environmental Solutions where the material will be used to generate steam that will turn the turbines to produce electricity for the Philadelphia area.

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