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Recycling Efforts Keep Keeneland Green

Keeneland has welcomed some of the largest crowds in track history during the 2014 Spring Meet, attracting more than 39,000 and 34,000 fans on Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and Coolmore Lexington (G3) Days, respectively.

Crowds of that size produce large amounts of trash in the form of race programs, mutuel tickets, paper napkins and food containers, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and glass, all gathered by the track as part of its Keeneland Green recycling program. 

To date, officials reported they have amassed more than 60 tons of recyclable material during the Spring Meet. Topping the list of materials was paper products, with 21 tons collected, followed by 21 tons of cardboard.

“We find a means of disposal for all of the waste that’s produced, recycling paper, cardboard, glass, used cooking oil, scrap metal, electronics, tires, wood pallets and muck,” Keeneland Project Administrator John Howard said.

Keeneland’s recycling program is a large-scale operation that continually explores and implements environmentally safe ways of waste management. In 2009, the program was expanded to install 150 recycling bins throughout the grounds to help sort the large amount of waste generated annually during the two race meets and four horse sales.

In 2013, Keeneland safely disposed of more than 150 tons of recyclable materials, including 59 tons of mixed paper products, 55 tons of cardboard, 18 tons of wood pallets, 10 tons of scrap metal, seven tons of used cooking oil, and four tons of electronics.

While undeniably effective and efficient, the recycling program can be labor intensive. During the Spring and Fall race meets, several employees are stationed in a facility on the property to feed cardboard, paper products and aluminum cans into compactors. The material is then bailed and stored until it is hauled away by various removal companies. 

The recycling program also extends to the stable area. In addition to the 150 tons of materials that were recycled in 2013, approximately 16,000 tons of muck and compost were sent to mushroom farms.

 

 

 

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