Express make Dell Diamond a minimal-waste facility
By Wade Hilligoss, Round Rock Express Communications Assistant
|Photo: Laura Fragoso|
Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) joined forces with the Express to make The Dell Diamond a minimal-waste facility. In a program at the forefront of sports stadium waste management, the sustainability plan combines single-stream recycling and food-waste composting to maximize the amount of materials diverted from landfill disposal.
"Our goal is to strive for zero waste," Express General Manager George King said. "That means diverting at least 90 percent of all waste our events generate away from landfills and to repurposing programs."
The Dell Diamond has been outfitted with new identifiable receptacles labeled for compost items, such as uneaten food and soiled paper; single-stream recyclable items, like cans and plastics; and waste receptacles for anything which cannot be repurposed. Express fans are asked to assist in the new process by choosing to discard waste in the appropriate container. Through the partnership, TDS, Round Rock Express and concessions provider Sodexo evaluated all products and found solutions to provide food and drink containers which either can be recycled or composted where possible.
|Photo: Laura Fragoso|
Attaining zero waste is a goal dozens of professional sports venues have. However, as of now The Dell Diamond is one of the closest to that goal.
"As far as the initiative goes, the Express have immediately leap-frogged into the 99th percentile by adding the three-stream system," King said. "No sports facility in the country or even the world has reached the zero waste threshold and stayed. We are making strides to making that happen this very season."
Recyclable materials are processed at the TDS materials recovery facility south of Austin. All food waste is repurposed, made into new compost products and sold at Garden-Ville stores in local areas.
"When we see an opportunity for a program that will do the right thing by the environment, further recycling education on a large scale, and maximize diversion from the landfill … that's our equivalent of a grand slam," Jennifer Gregory of Texas Disposal Systems said. "We could not be more excited about our partnership with the Round Rock Express and bringing our expertise to such a top notch facility."
|Photo: Laura Fragoso|
TDS holds the first fully integrated permit issued in the state of Texas for handling waste, recyclables, and compost, at one facility making them the only company that is capable of handling all three streams coming out of The Dell Diamond at one facility.
The Dell Diamond also is participating in the City of Round Rock's water reclamation project - a water reuse system that allows the city to use treated wastewater for non-potable purposes. The plan calls for all field and landscape watering at The Dell Diamond to use the newly installed line once functional.
"Using this reuse water at such places as The Dell Diamond for irrigation purposes will help the City to be able to meet the future water demands and growth of our community with their current water sources," Round Rock Mayor Alan McGraw said. "This is a benefit to the City because it will help the City to continue to be able to provide water to the citizens of Round Rock at some of the lowest water rates in Central Texas since we know that if additional water sources are necessary for the City, they will be very expensive."
Participation in the water reuse system means The Dell Diamond is not impacted by city water restrictions, and the Express' cost for using the water is significantly lowered.
"It is undoubtedly sensible for us to participate in the City of Round Rock's water reclamation project," Ryan said. "Given the amount of water we use in and around The Dell Diamond over the course of the year - especially during the season, we want to do whatever we can to assist in the better use of water resources in the Round Rock community."
In addition to field watering, reclaimed water will be used at The Dell Diamond for watering of all grounds outside the stadium.
Both programs will serve as an effort to help the environment and eliminate wastefulness at The Dell Diamond and the Round Rock area. However, according to King, these efforts will extend beyond the ballpark and out into the surrounding communities.
"Part of our relationship with TDS is an educational-promotional element," he said. "With videos, signage and public service announcements, we are animating the message to make it fun and to show that recycling and Zero Waste doesn't have to be snarky, bureaucratic, or political. It's a responsible initiative and a chance for serious public impact. After all, it's the future for all of us."