The grass that usually covers Heinz Field for football has been mostly covered over with an ice rink, but tailgaters in Pittsburgh will still go green for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic thanks to a parking lot recycling effort initiative by "NHL Green."
On New Year's Day, the Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) and its partners will collect aluminum cans, glass containers, and plastic bottles and cups in six designated stadium parking lots.
The recycling effort in Pittsburgh marks the first time in the Winter Classic's four-year history that the League has collaborated with a local environmental organization to collect recyclables at tailgate parties.
"We're excited to introduce tailgate recycling at the 2011 Winter Classic as an extension of our ‘NHL Green' initiative," said Bernadette Mansur, NHL Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. "Partnering with the Pennsylvania Resources Council enables the NHL to expand its year-round commitment to making the League and its member clubs more ecologically responsible while educating our fans and raising awareness of environmental issues."
On Jan. 1, Alco Parking attendants will distribute blue recycling bags to fans as they enter six designated parking lots located along General Robinson Street. Tailgaters will be encouraged to place all bottles, cans and plastic containers in the bags during their pre-game parties, tie up the filled bags and leave them next to their vehicles before heading to the game. A recycling team will circulate throughout the lots to provide additional blue bags, help collect filled bags and generally encourage fans to recycle.
"Sporting events provide a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of recycling, and education is a key component of this campaign," said Dave Mazza, Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Resources Council. "PRC and its campaign partners are encouraging people to recycle when they're away from home by making the activity easy and convenient."
According to Mansur, "Pittsburgh is the perfect place to introduce such a new ‘green' activity since the Penguins demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to preserving the environment. CONSOL Energy Center has achieved LEED Gold certification, becoming the first NHL arena to reach that standard of sustainability."
The Winter Classic tailgate recycling campaign is sponsored by PRC and the Alcoa Foundation in partnership with the National Hockey League, Pittsburgh Penguins, Alco Parking, City of Pittsburgh Environmental Services, Greenstar, Heinz Field and the Sports & Exhibition Authority. For more information, visit www.prc.org or call 412-488-7490, x 243.