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MCG leads in industry recycling and sustainability initiatives

MCG leads in industry recycling and sustainability initiatives
July 19, 2018

The MCG’s ongoing commitment to recycling and sustainability initiatives saw it divert more than 80% of its waste away from landfill last year.

Food waste, packaging and a range of other items disposed of and discarded by fans are recycled into soil additives used to nourish the adjacent Yarra Park.

Five years ago the MCG diverted 60% of its waste away from landfill, and by last year that had risen above 83% largely as a result of an investment of around $250,000 to buy an organics dehydrator that operates in the venue's basement.

Melbourne Cricket Club General Manager - Facilities Peter Wearne told the ABC this week that the dehydrator processed organic waste overnight, with the recycled material used as a soil additive to nourish nearby park land. 

Wearne explained “anything that can't be reused as far as a food product is put into that machine, as well as clippings off the MCG surface.

"Over a short period of time it heats it at a really high temperature and it dehydrates that product and takes it down into a usable compostable product."

With organic waste previously having been sent off site to be composted, now it is treated at the venue, reducing CO2 emissions created by transport and opening up their spot to another company.

Werane advised “there's limited capacity at a lot of these composting sites, so now someone else can compost there while we're doing our own stuff here on site.”

Another initiative has been the installation of bollards that are made from soft plastics collected at the ground, such as pie wrappers and cling wrap.

The bollards are sturdy and durable and will gradually replace all the rotting timber bollards which have lined the park's walkways for years.

Wearne told the ABC “for us it's really good because we're taking a product that used to go into landfill, we're turning it into a recycled product, plus we're supporting a local industry.

"I think most people are accepting that we should all be doing the right thing in terms of recycling or reusing or even, really, probably the ultimate aim is to reduce and not use these products in the first place."

In 2014, the MCC also invested $18 million in a water treatment plant which turns sewage from the local network into Class A recycled water.

The water is used to irrigate the lawns in Yarra Park and flush toilets at the MCG, reducing the venue’s use of potable water by 50%.

A complex waste sorting system, which sees rubbish separated into 22 different streams, ensures more products, including e-waste and batteries, can be recycled.

The MCC was also a founding member of the Sports Environment Alliance, which encourages all sporting clubs to learn from the sustainability initiatives of larger institutions which share their teachings.

Wearne said the next focus would be to try and introduce compostable coffee cups and work with fans to get them to think about what they're bringing into the stadium, adding “on a game day, we will put a message up on the big screen about how much we're recycling, just to motivate people and get them to understand.

"The next step that we're looking at doing is more fan engagement ... to maybe think about what it is that you're actually bringing to the football, to make that either a recyclable or ideally a reusable product that you would take away and keep bringing back time after time."

Wearne sees that with the MCG’s iconic status the MCC felt an added responsibility to do the right thing, concluding “for us, it's very logical that we should be setting an example and get that message out there.

"Even if that only encourages 1 or 2% of the population to do the right thing, I think we've had a big win."

Images: The MCG from Yarra Park (top) and the venue's organics dehydrator (below).

8th June 2018 - PROGRAM REVEALED FOR 2018 INTERNATIONAL PARKS AND LEISURE CONGRESS 

28th May 2018 - ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS LOOK TO REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE

20th February 2018 - DESTINATION MELBOURNE LOOKS TO BACK TOURISM BUSINESSES 

25th November 2017 - MCG’S SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES RECOGNISED AT NATIONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY AWARDS

7th April 2016 - VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES TO DROUGHT PROOF COMMUNITY SPORT AND RECREATION

7th September 2015 - SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE AWARDED FOR SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP 

10th June 2015 - SPORTS ENVIRONMENT ALLIANCE TO ADVANCE SUSTAINABILITY WITH MELBOURNE LAUNCH

25th April 2015 - WESTERN QUEENSLAND DROUGHT IMPACTS LOCAL SPORT

1st February 2015 - REPORT SUGGESTS ELITE AND GRASSROOTS SPORT AT RISK FROM CLIMATE CHANGE 

21st November 2014 - SIEMENS HELPS MCG TAKE A LEAD IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY

17th October 2014 - MCG WATER RECYCLING FACILITY SAVES ALMOST 240 MILLION LITRES 

23rd February 2013 - IMPROVING SPORT’S ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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