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04/21/2010 12:43 PM ET
Seattle Mariners and Cedar Grove Composting team up for zero waste game on Earth Day
Use of compostable food service items bring Safeco Field's recycling rate up to 76%
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
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The Seattle Mariners are joining with Cedar Grove Composting to stage the second annual Zero Waste game on Wednesday, April 21. Ciscoe Morris, Master Gardener and "composter extraordinaire," and Chef/Restaurateur Tom Douglas, a committed environmentalist, will join together for the game's ceremonial first pitch just before the Mariners take on the Baltimore Orioles at 7:10 pm.

The game is also Verizon Wireless Calendar Night, which was printed on 55% recycled paper.

Strive for Zero Waste
In 2010, the Mariners are joining Cedar Grove Composting's "Strive for Zero Waste" campaign by early adoption of the City of Seattle regulation that requires restaurants to use only compostable or recyclable disposable food service products. Those rules don't take effect in Seattle until July 1, but starting on Opening Day, April 12, nearly all food service items used at Safeco Field on game days are recyclable or compostable. That includes napkins, cups, spoons, forks, knives, straws, etc., which are made of paper or degradable corn products.

Because of this, during the first six games of the season, the Safeco Field recycling rate has jumped from 38% last year to 75.9% so far this season.

Cedar Grove and Seattle City Light will have information available for fans about composting, recycling and energy conservation on the Main Concourse at Sections 128, 138 and 185.

Carbon Off-Sets
The Mariners have also purchased Renewable Energy Credits to offset the climate change impact of energy used at Safeco Field during the game between the Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles. Global warming impacts include:

  • Emissions associated with electricity and natural gas used to operate Safeco Field on April 21 (49,252 kWh of electricity, 580 Therms of natural gas),
  • Disposal or recycling of waste generated during the game (estimated to be 5.5 tons, 75% of which will be recycled)
  • Air travel emissions for the Orioles from Oakland to Seattle and then to Boston, as well as the air travel emissions for the umpire crew (from Philadelphia to Seattle and then on to Los Angeles)
  • Hotel-related emissions for Orioles and the umpires (50 hotel rooms)
  • Ground travel to and from the ballpark by staff and fans (180,000 car miles)

To offset the impact of these emissions the Mariners have purchased Renewable Energy Credits from Bonneville Environmental Foundation and "green power" credits from the Seattle City Light Green Up program.

Recycling and Conservation
Since 2006, the Seattle Mariners have increased recycling from 13% to 38% in 2009. The goal for 2010 was a modest 50%, which has so far been surpassed with a recycling rate of over 75%.

Other green measures include a $3 million capital investment in utility conservation projects that will reduce operating costs for natural gas, electricity, water and sewer by $250,000 each year. This will be achieved through replacement of nearly all lighting and fixtures at the ballpark with efficient bulbs and fixtures and installing sensors to turn off lights in unoccupied areas, installation of 300 low-flow urinals, replacement of the old incandescent light Out of Town Scoreboard with a full-color LED board that will use only about 11% of the power of the old board, and auditing and upgrading

MLB Goes Green
The Mariners and all 30 Major League teams are supported in these sustainability efforts by Major League Baseball's Team Greening Program. Spearheaded by MLB Commissioner Alan H. "Bud" Selig, in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the program is a web-based guide designed to help each team reduce its environmental impact. Advice is offered in such areas as front office operations, ballpark operations and maintenance, team and fan transportation, energy use, paper use, concessions operations, green-events planning, recycling and waste management.

About Cedar Grove Composting
Cedar Grove Composting is part of a family-owned 400-employee enterprise with roots in the waste management business going back to 1938. As the Pacific Northwest's leading organic recycling company, Cedar Grove transforms grass, leaves, yard trimmings, food waste and wood waste into the finest nutrient-rich compost. From a humble beginning, Cedar Grove has developed a full line of Healthy Soils with a loyal following, such that Cedar Grove Composting has grown to become one of the largest yard waste composting facilities in the United States. For more information about Cedar Grove Composting go to: www.cgcompost.com

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