The overall waste diversion rate has increased each year since the program began. In 2008, the Pirates diverted 27 percent of all waste materials. That percentage jumped to 36 percent in 2009, 40 percent in 2010 and now 61 percent following the 2011 season.
“I am proud that we continue to take a leadership role in this critical area and in the steps we have taken, and will continue to take, to recycle, conserve and build awareness,” said Bob Nutting, Pirates Chairman of the Board. “Earth Day should
give all of us reason to reflect on our own efforts to act responsibly and sustainably. We all have a responsibility to do as much as we can to protect our environment. The city of Pittsburgh and the Laurel Highlands region is surrounded by natural beauty. We are very fortunate to have an opportunity to live in, and help protect, this for future generations.”
The dedicated effort by the Pirates and their PNC Park partners, ARAMARK and Levy Restaurants, includes:
Recycling – The robust recycling program that captures the more than 1.2 million plastic bottles and cups discarded
by fans throughout the season.
Concessionaire Initiatives – Both of PNC Park’s concessionaires, ARAMARK and Levy Restaurants, use recyclable plastic beverage cups and have eliminated most of the non-biodegradable materials in the utensils, plates, napkins and
food carriers. In addition, the Pirates support Rock and Wrap it Up! Inc. by recovering prepared untouched food from PNC Park. Rather than being thrown away, this food is donated to the Greater Community Food Bank for distribution to the community. From April through September 2011, 6,244 pounds of food was recovered in conjunction with games at PNC Park.
Energy – The Pirates took steps to make the ballpark more energy efficient by:
o Participating in Energy Star Portfolio Manager to help monitor and reduce consumption.
o Installing an HVAC system on an economizer cycle which allows the use of outdoor air to condition interior areas when the air temperature is appropriate.
o All major fan units and comfort cooling pumps are on Variable Frequency Drives.
o The use of a Building Management System, which allows for the startup and shut down of the HVAC system by use of a timer.
o Domestic hot water has been re-piped to run on time-of-day schedule to save on both electric and consumption of water.
o Changed lighting in areas throughout the ballpark from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, reducing the average wattage used from 100 to 25 watts.
o Installed motion sensors in all mechanical rooms, restrooms, and some common areas in the ballpark.
Composting – The Pirates were one of the first Major League Baseball teams to have incorporated a composting program, which is the recycling and reusing of organic materials to enhance soils and foster growth of plants. This program
allows for the collection of organic material, which helps in slowing down the production of methane, a greenhouse gas that is generated when food and organic material decompose in the landfill. Since the program began in 2009, more than 965 tons of food waste has been composted at PNC Park through these efforts.
Paper Usage – All paper used in the ballpark and in the Pirates front office is more environmentally friendly. The toilet paper is made from 100-percent recycled materials and restroom hand towels are made from 45-percent recycled materials. All of the team’s office paper, including copy paper, team stationary and business cards are made from 30-percent post-consumer paper.
Printing – The Pirates print the club’s various publications in soy-based ink on FSC certified paper, including the club’s game day publication Pirates Insider, annual Community Report and PNC Park’s A to Z Guide.
Cleaning Products – The Pirates use Environmental Protection Agency recommended Designed for Environment (DFE) cleaning products to clean the ballpark.
Awareness Campaign – The Pirates continue to promote the importance of greening initiatives through a number of channels, including in-ballpark signage, public service announcements from Pirates players and the renovation of Pittsburgh’s Sanguigni Field using green practices and environmentally friendly materials. The organization also utilizes the club’s official website, Pirates.com, and its various publications to raise awareness on suitability issues. The Pirates will continue that promotion of the importance of being more environmentally friendly as the team celebrates Earth Day at PNC Park on Sunday, April 22, 2012. Prior to the game on Federal Street, Waste Management will have a large display promoting the importance of recycling, while the Pittsburgh National Aviary as well as other local non-profit civic organizations will distribute information on the importance of being more environmentally friendly. All kids 14 and younger, with paid admission to PNC Park, will receive a Pirates Earth Day cap made out of 100 percent recyclable materials, courtesy of Waste Management.