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City of Berkeley lauds zero-waste stadium initiative

By Cathy Cockrell

Saturday was a good night for Cal at Haas Pavilion, where not only did the Bears’ men’s basketball team beat the Arizona Sun Devils, but Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates presented a city proclamation lauding Cal Athletics’ commitment to waste reduction. The city commended Cal Athletics for its ‘“great efforts at Haas Pavilion during the winter sports season and its commitment to the goal of achieving zero waste at California Memorial Stadium.”

Blue &  Gold Make Green logo
Joining Bates on the court were Chancellor Birgeneau, Athletics chief of staff Teresa Gould, City Councilmember Gordon Wozniak (whose district includes the campus), state Sen. Loni Hancock, and Mike Sangiacomo and Gary Foss of corporate sponsor Recology, a recycling-collection company.

The Feb. 4 game was the last of three recent “zero-waste” sporting events at Haas, organized as a trial run for the 2012-13 football season, when the campus plans to launch an ambitious waste-reduction program at the newly renovated California Memorial Stadium. Fans will be encouraged to use recycling and composting bins, marked with the slogan “Blue & Gold Make Green,” in place of trash receptacles, and vendors will be encouraged to use recyclable packaging and containers.

Cal is now one of a growing number of universities and professional sports franchises and venues nationwide that are striving to eliminate waste produced at athletic events. Its zero-waste initiative is a collaboration between Cal Athletics and Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, along with Recology. The program supports University of California, UC Berkeley and City of Berkeley sustainability goals.