The Waste Management Phoenix Open, despite not being a major championship, draws the biggest crowds on the PGA Tour (over 560,000 people showed up over 4 days in late January-early February). It’s like a rock concert (except it is quiet when the players get ready to hit–most of the time) fused with golf, somehow. And, for the 2nd year in a row, it was Zero Waste.
Known as the “Greatest Show on Grass”, the Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO) at TPC Scottsdale draws mammoth crowds, offers crowd-pleasing caddy races (just watch this 37 second video to see what I mean) and, most importantly IMHO, earns the highest grades in golf for environmental performance every year.
Per Environmental Leader, the Waste Management Phoenix Open’s own Zero Waste Challenge “earned UL Environment’s landfill waste diversion, or Zero Waste to Landfill status, a certification proven through transparent reporting and detailed data.”
The Zero Waste Challenge ensures that all of the waste generated at the event is recycled, composted, or used in waste-to-energy facilities. Vendors are required to only use products and materials that can be composted or recycled at their end-of-life.
A Zero Waste Station at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where fans can drop food waste into recycle, compost or waste-to-energy bins, watch videos about the Zero Waste Challenge and learn more about the greenest tournament on tour. (Photo Credit: Waste Management)
Kevin Stadler earned his first-ever tour victory at the 2014 WMPO but the environment also won with these impressive statistics:
- Combined recycling, composting and waste–to-energy efforts avoided 346 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Recycling efforts conserved:
- 632 mature trees
- 368,690 gallons of water
- 471,248 kilowatt-hours of electricity
- 969 cubic yards of landfill airspace
This begs the question: Why aren’t the Masters, the US Open and the other Tour stops doing the same? GreenSportsBlog will dig into this issue but, for now it seems like the Waste Management Phoenix Open, with its stellar Zero Waste Challenge performance is really the “tradition unlike any other”, not The Masters. Just without the treacly music.