Cedar Rapids Kernels are cleaning up "green"

April 3, 2014 | 4:48 pm

The Cedar Rapids Kernels are stepping up to the plate to make Perfect Game Field a little “greener” this season. To help combat organic waste building up in landfills, the Cedar Rapids Baseball Club, Inc. is partnering up with GreenRU to compost the excess “post-consumer” waste left behind from baseball games. These materials, such as unfinished food and discarded peanut shells, are one of the largest components of waste in the stadium. In fact, over 34 million tons of food waste is thrown away each year in the U.S., and this number is rapidly growing as the largest waste stream in Iowa landfills. Organic materials, when re-purposed into compost, create a nutrient rich soil amendment and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Kernels aren’t alone in this venture, with several other major league ballparks following the same initiative. The San Diego Padres’ Petco Park and the Seattle Mariner’s Safeco Field are only a few stadiums who are leading the way and have implemented an organic waste diversion to promote their commitment to sustainability and “Zero Waste” goals. The Cedar Rapids Kernels Perfect Game Field is likely one the first minor league teams to implement a composting program.

“We feel this is a great initiative. Once we realized how simple it was to put into practice, it made perfect sense,” Kernels Food and Beverage Director Debra Meier stated. Composting is the way to go she agreed, “The environmental benefits are well worth it.”

GreenRU, a Chamness Company, is the first company in Iowa to provide full composting services. They take pride in educating and training the community, as well as providing collection containers and services. The program is designed to work with industries, schools, grocery stores, hospitals, and other institutions that are looking to lessen their environmental footprint and improve sustainability efforts.

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