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The Cleveland Indians were recently awarded a Wild Card spot for MLB’s 2012 Green Glove Award, a competition designed to promote better environmental practices throughout the league. In recognition of the club’s sustainability efforts, Brad Mohr – the Assistant Director of Ballpark Operations at Progressive Field – was invited to the White House for a forum on sustainability in sports last year. Next month, he’ll be headed to Sydney and Melbourne to speak at the Sports Sustainability United Summit. He has also presented at the Green Sports Alliance Summit the past two years and is very active in the sustainability community in Northeast Ohio. TribeVibe caught up with this industry-leader and asked him a few questions about the Tribe’s green efforts.
TribeVibe: What did the Cleveland Indians do to improve their diversion rate – the percentage of waste materials diverted from traditional disposal – in 2012?
Brad Mohr: We continued to take a serious, thorough look at our trash and recycling procedures in 2012, which paid off in another dramatic drop in trash going to the landfill. The most impactful improvement was the composting of organic material. Organic material that can be composted is anything that will break down in a natural environment such as food prep scraps, leftover food that cannot be donated and grass clippings. Our organics are sent to a facility that makes and sells mulch. We began composting as a pilot program late 2010 and we discovered we could compost a great amount of our waste. We went full throttle on composting in 2011 and recycled over 20 tons of organics. With composting becoming more and more a part of our operation and culture with education and familiarity, we composted 53 tons of organic material in 2012. That amounts to 21% of all of our recycling weight.
We continued to be consistent recyclers of other materials by saving from the landfill:
- 34 tons of aluminum and plastic beverage containers
- 69.5 tons of cardboard
- 31 tons of paper
- 19 tons of metals
- 20 tons of wooden pallets
- 13 tons of fryer oil
- 2.5 tons of electronics
- and an astonishing 2/3 of a ton of light bulbs
All together, we recycled 248 tons of materials. Compare that with 408 tons of trash and we have a diversion rate of 38%.