Waste Management Phoenix Open goes environmentally green

SCOTTSDALE – The grass isn’t the only thing that’s green at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week.

The PGA tournament in Scottsdale aims to be the largest zero-waste event worldwide, according to Waste Management officials. They also plan to educate some of the 500,000 people expected at the tournament about its environmental initiatives.

“We hope people learn it here and live it everywhere,” said Janette Micelli, spokeswoman for Waste Management.

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Three interactive “Zero Waste Stations” are located throughout the Professional Golf Association event to teach golf fans about recycling and composting. The recycling volunteers who staff the stations educate participants about how to navigate the waste free event. Fans are also encouraged to sign a recycling pledge, said volunteer Kathy Stock.

Instead of trash cans, guests can dispose of waste in more than 6,000 recycling and compost bins. Nothing from the tournament will be transported to landfills including the temporary buildings, art and other materials, Micelli said. Instead it will go to a compost facility, be recycled or be used again.

Some items will also be donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity and leftover food is sent to food banks and other local organizations.

The tournament also reuses water used in the kitchen in the portable restrooms, Micelli said.