Waste Reduction Initiative Exceeds Goals at Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center | Xcel Energy Center
Dec 30, 2013

Waste Reduction Initiative Exceeds Goals at Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center

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Officials at Saint Paul RiverCentre, in partnership with Xcel Energy Center, today released their second annual Sustainability Report announcing the successful completion of their “50-50 in 2” waste reduction initiative. This announcement comes on the heels of the facilities winning the 2011 Recycling Association of Minnesota’s ‘Green Project’ Award for the same project.
The goal of “50-50 in 2” was to reduce the amount of trash generated at Saint Paul RiverCentre, Xcel Energy Center and The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium by 50 percent while increasing the amount recycled to 50 percent by July of 2011. Over the past two years these facilities have added hundreds of recycling bins, which are now found in a 1:1 ratio with trash cans across campus. The facilities have redesigned behind-the-scenes equipment and processes and have trained staff and educated guests about recycling. Reaching these goals has taken the dedication of the entire organization.

One of the key features of “50-50 in 2” has been the introduction of compost/organics recycling across campus. Saint Paul RiverCentre was one of the first convention centers in the nation to offer composting in public areas. The program also included an extensive shift in purchasing toward compostable and renewable items. Over 90 percent of food service disposables are now compostable, which has allowed areas like Saint Paul RiverCentre’s Headwaters Café, the arena suite level, and the Treasure Island Ice Lodge to become nearly trash-free. All cups, plate-ware and utensils are now added to compost with any food leftovers, while all bottles and cans are recycled from these areas.

RESULTS - Since July 2009:
•    The annual recycling rate has gone from 15 percent to 53 percent
•    Trash has been reduced by 59 percent campus-wide – a reduction of 1.4 million pounds per year

Two-year recycling totals include:
•    320 tons of compost (previously uncollected; now the single-biggest recycling stream on campus)
•    311 tons of cardboard
•    192 tons of bottles and cans
•    Total recycling: 988 tons, equivalent to 22 of the Jonathan Padelford Mississippi Riverboats

"We are immensely proud of the success of our '50-50 in 2' initiative," said Saint Paul RiverCentre General Manager and Minnesota Wild Vice President Jim Ibister. "Our organization has emerged as a national leader in sustainability and we will continue to be committed to delivering new and innovative ways to stay on the cutting edge of green practices.” 

“The successful completion of our ‘50-50 in 2’ campaign is a terrific milestone, but this is not the finish line.” said President and CEO of Visit Saint Paul Karolyn Kirchgesler. “This is a long-term commitment to sustainability that is now a way of life in our facilities.”

"These facilities have transformed into a showcase of sustainable practices and the numbers show that it is working and making a difference," says Director of Sustainability Programming at Progressive Associates Patrick Reeves. "They have diverted over 1,000,000 pounds of material in the last 12 months and saved money doing it. We congratulate the organization, the core staff and vendors who helped to make this goal a reality.”

Program Background
Saint Paul RiverCentre officials announced in April 2009 their mission to become a regional leader in sustainability. Soon after, the remaining facilities on its campus came aboard due to their abundance of shared resources. In partnership with Progressive Associates of Saint Paul, Minn., an ambitious, strategic plan was launched. The multi-phased approach, which began with “50-50 in 2,” has encompassed several other initiatives over the years including “80-20 in 3,” a set of energy goals designed to reduce the carbon footprint and increase the efficiency of the facilities.

For more information, please visit our dedicated web page.

About Saint Paul RiverCentre
Saint Paul RiverCentre is the city’s premier convention center that overlooks the bluffs of the Mississippi River. Featuring more than 250,000 square feet of versatile event space and flexible room configurations that include the Grand Ballroom and The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium, Saint Paul RiverCentre is the preferred choice for hundreds of events including star-studded galas, trade shows and conventions each year.

About Xcel Energy Center
Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is home to the NHL's Minnesota Wild, the NLL's Minnesota Swarm and a multitude of premier sports and entertainment events annually. The one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose facility is located in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, owned by the City of Saint Paul and managed by the Saint Paul Arena Company, an affiliate of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. For more information, visit www.xcelenergycenter.com.

About Visit Saint Paul
Saint Paul RiverCentre and The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium are governed and operated by Visit Saint Paul. The mission of the Visit Saint Paul is to generate economic growth for Saint Paul by effectively marketing the Saint Paul RiverCentre campus, the City of Saint Paul and the region as a preferred convention and tourism destination.