January 29, 2009, Petaluma, CA: Stephanie Deigan, President and COO of AFM announced today the online publication of an updated set of guidelines for recycling at mass participant sporting events. The 14-page reference and resource guide is available for download, at no charge, from the company’s Web site at http://com/green.asp.
“Last fall, in collaboration with green events consultant Eco-Logistics and Jon Stein of Consolidated Container Company, we embarked on a six-event pilot program to assess the potential for recycling Heatsheets® finishers’ blankets,” said Deigan. “We soon learned that any recycling effort should take into account the event’s overall waste recovery objectives, opportunities, and plans. So, we decided to develop a broad set of recycling guidelines for the mass participant sporting event industry, rather than focusing solely on Heatsheets®.”
The resulting PDF booklet offers a step-by-step approach to pre-event waste recovery planning and event setup, tips for building awareness and participation during the event, post-event details that shouldn’t be overlooked, as well as specific recommendations for recycling Heatsheets® and other recoverable and compostable materials. In keeping with its straightforward approach, the booklet begins with a word of caution:
This guide was prepared during a time of extreme turmoil in the recycling marketplace. The worldwide economic downturn and the U.S. credit crisis have had a profound impact on recycling. Commodities that U.S. mills were outbidding each other for last summer are now languishing in warehouses and vendors are looking for any market at any price…With more supply than demand, clean recyclables will always have a market advantage over materials that are contaminated. As a result, ensuring that your recovery efforts result in clean, marketable material is now more important than ever.
Looking ahead to the upcoming spring marathon season, Deigan encourages events to plan ahead. “It may take a little digging to find a plastics recycler who is willing to accept recovered Heatsheets® and some extra effort to discover what general recycling resources are available in your area,” she said. “But, it should be worth the effort, knowing that you’ve kept a recyclable product from becoming just another single-use throwaway.”