At last year’s Green Initiatives Conference, Gerard Arrotti, senior director of safety & sustainability at ESPN, discussed how ESPN went from a 48% to a 70% waste diversion rate:
We began assessing our waste streams in 2004 and at that time our waste diversion rate was approximately 46%. We developed programs to recycle cans/bottles, wire and cable, all batteries (even dry cell), electronics, waste vegetable oil, among other things. As we become more sophisticated in separating and assessing our waste streams, we formed an internal green team to identify opportunities to reduce or eliminate waste. Some of their ideas were implemented — the elimination of coffee cups in kitchenettes (everyone at ESPN receives a re-usable coffee mug), eliminating the use of water bottles and providing employees re-usable water bottles, and eliminating Styrofoam in our cafeteria. The elimination of Styrofoam was a big step; we now use only biodegradable food packaging and we actively promote the use of china and re-usable flatware. At the same time, we began composting our food waste along with the biodegradable food packaging. Later efforts include the inclusion of waste reduction goals in all construction and renovation projects. In 2010, our waste diversion rate stands at 70%, a 22% increase since 2004.