City council passes environmental, recycling policy for Legion Field green initiative

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Legion Field is going green after thed Birmingham City Council passed a resolution that “supports and encourages” the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board to adopt an environemental and recycling policy for the city-owned stadium. 

This item regarding the recycling initiative is on the Park Board meeting agenda which is scheduled for Wednesday, January 16. 

The resolution passed during the January 8 council meeting, however that does not mean a policy has been adopted, rather the legislative body for of the city is voicing support for one to be implemented, the council stated in a release.

Councilor Crystal Smitherman said she saw a need for a recycling program during the most recent Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field.

“I was at the game and had a water bottle that I wanted to recycle,” Smitherman recounted. “I asked if we had anywhere to recycle and I was shocked to find out that we didn’t. Something so simple can make such a big impact… We’re talking about getting recycling bins and putting them at Legion Field so we can encourage people to recycle. We can take those items and reuse them.”

Smitherman also said she hopes to keep spreading the message at schools throughout her district.

Stadiums around the country — such as Pittsburg’s Heinz Field — have deployed recycling programs to great effect. According to a study published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), stadiums present a unique opportunity for recycling efforts that can increase revenues. After installing bins throughout the stadium, Heinz Field has been able to recycle 6–7 tons of material per NFL game, as stated in the release from the Birmingham City Council.

Councilor Pro Tem William Parker also supports this proposed policy. 

“We have to take this as an opportunity,” Parker said. “We have close to 250,000 people that visit the field annually during football season. We have a chance to educate the public about recycling. We’ve received input from the park board and other key stakeholders. We can collaborate and work together on this. The Park Board has a charge to implement a strategy before the first game at Legion Field in the next 30 days. This is also a potential revenue stream for the city of Birmingham.”



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