Delaware North’s environmental stewardship platform GreenPath this year held its first-ever GreenPath Best Practices competition. Inspired by the annual GuestPath Best Practices competition, the  GreenPath version sought out best-practice case studies and sustainability success stories from locations and teams to share in a comprehensive compilation that was shared with GreenPath managers throughout the company.

After receiving 90-plus submissions from all six subsidiaries, the grand-prize was awarded to Delaware North Sportservice’s team at Progressive Field, which implemented a system to not only cut down on waste at the ballpark but also convert it into renewable energy.

Progressive Field, which is home to Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, hosts thousands of fans each year and produces hundreds of tons of waste from unused food and other products. Much of this waste, however, can be diverted from landfills and converted into an energy source.

By partnering with Grind2Energy, the team at Progressive Field installed a system to  collect waste that will eventually be turned into energy. Organic waste from the ballpark is collected after each game and pushed through a commercial disposal and piped into a large tank.

When the tank is full, an end user collects the waste and trucks it to a nearby facility, where it is  converted through anaerobic digestion into electricity. The facility is completely self-sustaining, and any remaining electricity is pushed into the Cleveland Public Power grid. The unprocessed organic waste (after digestion) is then turned into organic fertilizer.

Since implementing the system in 2014, 192 tons of waste has been collected and converted. In 2016, 76 tons of food scraps were collected and converted into energy and fertilizer, which is equal to:
• Heating 41 homes with natural gas for one month
• Powering 27 homes with electricity for one month
• 10,596 pounds of nutrient-rich fertilizer
• Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 121,783 automobile miles Working with the Cleveland Indians, the majority of initial cost of the waste collection system was covered by a grant through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency