Thursday, April 9, 2009

Do Sports Arenas Recycle?

This is a question I was asking myself a few weeks ago. Let me preface by saying I am a huge fan of the New Jersey Devils (NHL hockey). Living far from New Jersey and having 3 kids sort of limits the amount of games we go to now, I try to go to one a year. In fact, we are bringing William down this weekend for the final home game of the season. But 2 Saturdays ago I had a last minute opportunity to go to a game with my brother that I could not pass up A night without kids, yay!

The Devils have a beautiful new arena in Newark, NJ called The Prudential Center. State of the art and spectacular. As we were walking around during an intermission is when I noticed something that bothered me. Water, soda and beer are now sold in plastic bottles and practically everyone had some sort of bottle they were drinking from. But there wasn't a single recycling canister to be found. I watched everyone throwing their plastic bottles in the trash. How can that be? A brand new, state of the art arena and they don't recycle? After promising to write to them to find out what the deal was, I finally did so yesterday. Here is what I had to say:

"Good afternoon. I am a big NJ Devils fan and have been attending games since I was a teenager. Now that I have moved to {location}, I only get down to a game about once or twice a year. A few days ago I was at a game, only my second ever at the Prudential Center. While the Devils unfortunately lost the game, there was something I found even more disappointing. All of the food vendors sell water, soda and beer in plastic bottles. Virtually everyone had some sort of plastic bottle in their hand. However, what I did not see were any recycling bins. I was so shocked. With the amount of plastic bottles being sold, how could the Prudential Center not have recycling bins for them? Instead they are just being tossed in the trash only to sit in landfills for thousands of year. I would expect there to be a recycling receptacle next to every regular trash one. So I had to write to you all to find out why. With all the talk about reducing waste and preserving our planet being so mainstream now, I simply cannot understand this. I would really like to hear back from you to find out what is going on. I'm hoping that you will get some plastic recycling in there very soon. Many thanks for your time."

I'm hoping that I am wrong, that they have some sort of back-end recycling that I can't see. Could it be possible that they sort all the trash afterward? I have no idea. So I am anxiously awaiting their response and I'll keep you posted. And for the record, I did NOT throw my water bottle in the trash. I brought mine home with me and put it in my recycling bin. yes, I am that crazy. :)

This has me wondering about other sports arenas now. Do any of them recycle? What about ones that you have been to - have you noticed if they have recycling bins along with their trash bins?


  1. I have never really thought about it. I've tried to bring my own water in and they wouldn't let me. I almost always leave with my water bottle too. It really would be a simple thing for them to introduce a recycled trash container. I come from a state with mandatory recycling so it's second nature to me now.

  2. In my city the sports venues and arenas have to sell items in platic cups or bottles. Several years ago students and Alumni (!) thought it was cute to riot and burn cars (what the?) when the team won or lost. When the police came to break up the riot people threw their glass beer bottles and beer cans at the police. After that the city asked that all venues and stores around our college campuses (we have 6 in the city) sell all drinks in nonglass containers. Boo on all accounts.

  3. Its sad when people do stupid things like that. I totally get why sports venues sell drinks in plastic, I would just like to know that they are recycling it. :)


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