Environmental Services Leads Effort To Divert Waste at 2019 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
CHASKA, MINN.—Carver County, the PGA of America, Organix Solutions, Second Harvest Heartland and Hazeltine National Golf Club teamed up during the recently completed 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to divert more than nine tons of waste from landfills.
From June 17-23, thousands of spectators, corporate hospitality patrons, PGA of America members and national and local media, along with 1,500 event volunteers and service personnel, followed the best women’s golfers in the world on the renowned Chaska golf course.
At the same time, nearly 100 other individuals arrived on site with a different intention: waste diversion. Thanks to the combined efforts of Carver County Environmental Services, the Hazeltine host site committee, Organix Solutions, Second Harvest Heartland, and 95 volunteers, 9.35 tons of material were diverted from the landfill. This broke down into 1.5 tons of source-separated organics sent to a local compost site, 2.54 tons of plastic and aluminum sent to a nearby recycling facility, and 5.31 tons of edible food recovered and distributed to food insecure individuals and families.
Through a grant from the Carver County Environmental Services Department, organics, recycling, and trash containers were purchased to be placed in 50 different locations around the golf course. Volunteers were recruited to monitor the bins for contamination and to educate spectators on proper waste materials disposal, utilizing the designated bins. Monica Johnson, the County’s Minnesota GreenCorps member, organized the volunteers.
“We had individuals from around the state,” she said. “Employees from neighboring cities, counties, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, people involved in the compost or compostable products field, fellow Minnesota GreenCorps members, Chaska resident volunteers, and other environmental service supporters.”
While the volunteers handled the waste on course, Second Harvest Heartland educated the golf club staff and outside concessions vendors on potential food rescue processes of unserved food from their kitchens. Second Harvest Heartland is a Minnesota-based food bank that recently began specializing in rescuing prepared food from event venues. In preparing for this event, they selected one of their partner agencies, Loaves and Fishes, to receive the rescued food. Loaves and Fishes picked up unserved food from the Hazeltine kitchen and partnering vendors each morning of the tournament. The collected food was brought back to its facility and served later that same day to food insecure people. Throughout the course of the tournament, 5.31 tons of food–the equivalent of 8,848 meals—were rescued and provided to Minnesota residents.
Hazeltine National Golf Club expressed sincere appreciation to the Carver County environmental team, Organix Solutions, and Second Harvest Heartland for partnering with the 2019 Championship Committee and leading the effort to significantly reduce the landfill “garbage” impact of this event. The golf club will reuse the organics, recycling, and trash containers for the 2020 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in July 2020 and hope to again partner with Carver County to address the challenges, as well as build on the successes of the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.