Recycling a big lesson at the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Events for the Waste Management Phoenix Open have been going on for the past couple of days, but things will really swing into gear on Thursday when the tournament kicks off.

As the events continue, people behind the tournament are hoping they can teach fans at the event a big lesson.

It seems that on almost any corner at the open, there are bins. In fact, there are almost 5,000 of them spread out along the course.

"You will find no trash cans anywhere on the course, only recycled and compost bins," said Janette Micelli, Director of External Affairs for Waste Management. "They are clearly marked."

Officials with the open do many things in order to achieve a zero-waste event. On top of the waste bins, 60 solar waste compactors are on the course, the majority of the signage is re-used, and leftover food goes to feed the hungry. 

"Our number one goal at WMPO this year is to educate fans on how to recycle right," said Micelli. "What it means is include bottles, cans, paper cardboard, and never putting liquid food and plastic bags."

The event also has a Waste Management Green Scene, where eventgoers can golf with aluminum cans and dunk into zero-waste baskets. They say it’s all about education.

"If you think about the true reason to recycle, it is about conserving natural resources, and that is something each and every one of us can do everyday," said Micelli.

Those who head into the merchandise shop can buy event attire, like pants and hats, that have been repurposed from plastic bottles. 

In the 2019 iteration of the open, 451 tons were recycled, 229 tons were composted, 116 tons of waste was converted to energy, and 45 tons were repurposed and donated. The open has invested $1 billion into recycling infrastructure. They say their tech cleans materials to make them recyclable, so when the open is done, the process starts.