On April 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator, Chris Hladick, presented the Seattle Mariners and T-Mobile Park with the agency’s 2018 Food Recovery Challenge National Award for the team’s efforts to reduce food waste. The presentation occurred on the field shortly before the Mariners game against the Texas Rangers.
EPA’s award recognizes the Mariners for its commitment to food waste reduction, leading the Sports and Entertainment Venues sector of the agency’s Food Recovery Challenge in improved food waste reduction and recovery.
In 2017 the Mariners donated 6,465 pounds of extra food to The Salvation Army, Operation Sack Lunch, and other Seattle-area hunger relief agencies. The M’s also composted 758 tons of food waste in 2017. In fact, in an around-the-horn recycling loop, the T-Mobile’s discarded food is collected and composted by Cedar Grove, who supplies compost to Sound Sustainable Farms in Redmond, one of the produce suppliers for T-Mobile food vendors. Like footage of “The Double,” this cycle is repeated over and over.
“Where waste was once an enormously expensive problem, the Mariners team has dedicated itself to driving a market for compostables, reducing food waste, and feeding the hungry – what an incredible turn-around!” said Chris Hladick, the EPA’s Pacific Northwest/Alaska Regional Administrator. “The award we’re presenting today is a reflection of the team’s commitment to its community and to future generations. We’re grateful for the example the Mariners are setting.”
Every year, over two million people — and a lot of food — pass through the gates of T-Mobile Field, formerly known as Safeco Field. Closing the loop is an integral part of the ballpark’s sustainability efforts, and the club focuses on donating food first, and then composting it if donation isn’t possible.
“Sustainability is a crucial part of the Seattle Mariners’ mission,” says Trevor Gooby, Senior Vice-President of Ballpark Operations. “We recognize that we have a powerful platform that can impact our communities for generations to come, and we take this responsibility seriously. When it comes to sustainable food management, reducing waste up front is smart for the bottom line, and donating left-over food to those who need it is just the right thing to do.”
This is not a new effort for the Mariners: In 2017, the club was awarded Major League Baseball’s Green Glove for leading the way with the league’s highest percentage of waste diverted from going into the local landfill.