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Monday, May 28, 2012

GA Dome SFCI Team Tour

In mid April Elemental Impact announced the Georgia Dome will serve as the Sustainable Food Court Initiative Event Venue Pilot - see the ZWA Blog post, Georgia Dome - SFCI Event Venue Pilot, for details of the announcement.  Committed to action, the SFCI GA Dome Team is formed with a facility tour first on the agenda.

Brian giving the suites
recycling overview
Tim Trefzer, GA Dome sustainability director, and Brian Lapinskas, Levy Restaurants | GA Dome director of operations, welcomed the SFCI Pilot Team to the facility for a detailed tour of operations and practices in place.  As Founding Zero Waste Zones Participants, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority's three properties - Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Dome and Olympic Centennial Park - have impressive zero waste practices in-place.

Since joining the GWCCA in December 2010, Tim's committed effort evolved the venue's sustainable practices and programs to new dimensions.  The ZWA Blog, GWCC Hits Recycling Stride, gives an overview of impressive reuse | recycling systems in place during several major 2011 events.

The compact FiltaFry system
At the mid May tour, the SFCI Pilot Team witnessed the reduce first, reuse second and then recycle philosophy at the foundation of Dome practices.  An example of reduction is the use of Ei Partner FiltaFry services for their fryer oil. Since using the filtering system in October, 2010, the Dome REDUCED their fryer oil consumption by 4,168 gallons.  Added benefit:  significant cost savings!

Another reduction example is Levy's shift to using only reusable china, flatware, glasses and napkins in the Dome's suite foodservice. Implemented with augmenting the guest experience as the catalyst, the practice reduces disposable product use and potential recycling contamination, a multiple win. The china service is a prime example of how solid business practices are also sustainable best practices.

Equipment awaiting reuse
Under Tim's direction, an area of the loading dock area is designated to collect used equipment no longer useful in GWCCA operations.  The items are sold for refurbishment and REUSE.  In addition to escaping landfill destination, used equipment sales improve the bottom line while providing end users with an economical purchase, another multiple win! 

Back-of-the-house recycling practices are strong and effective.  Front-of-the-house recycling is challenging when the consumer is relied upon for separating trash from recyclable and compostable material.  The SFCI Pilot Team brings experience with creating successful programs in other stadiums.  Doug Kunnemann of NatureWorks along with Buzz Chandler of StalkMarket worked closely with the Portland Rose Garden on establishing their green game initiatives.  

Cardboard recycling in action
At the Seattle Mariner's Safeco Field, Chris Bradlee of BASF partners with the facility for their FOH recycling and composting program.. Camp Fire USA youth are engaged to educate consumers on proper item disposable while meeting criteria within their badge program.

With the foundation laid during the tour, Pilot committees are in the formation process. Team members will serve on three initial committees: Baseline & Metrics, Packaging and FOH Recycling Bins. Ei Program Director Susan Montgomery is orchestrating the committee formation and developing team action tasks.

For a pictorial tour overview, see the Ei FB album, 05-16-12 GA Dome Pilot Tour.

GA SFCI Pilot Team @ tour end
It is thrilling to witness a stellar team comprised of local and national leaders come together with the common goal of creating an event venue zero waste template. With team representation from government, trade | business associations, non-profits and private enterprise, the necessary collaborative energy is inherent within the team.  

Stay tuned for blog posts announcing the GA Dome SFCI Pilot Team along with action tasks in process. 

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