Philadelphia Union’s Subaru Park has become the US’s first soccer-stadium to reach zero landfill status thanks to a partnership between stadium naming rights sponsor Subaru America and the Major League Soccer (MLS) club.

Thanks to Subaru America, a subsidiary of Subaru Corporation Japan, and its established zero landfill philosophy, all waste generated by Subaru Park and Philadelphia Union games will either be reduced, reused or recycled. 

Across an average year, Subaru Park will divert around 357,480 pounds of waste from local landfills. 

Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing, Subaru America, said: “When we teamed up with the Philadelphia Union, we pledged to use our partnership to benefit the greater Philadelphia community. Today, our commitment reaches another milestone as we proudly celebrate that Subaru Park is the first-ever soccer stadium in MLS to be zero landfill. 

“At Subaru, we take pride in sharing our zero landfill practices wherever we can, and we hope this incredible milestone inspires professional sports stadiums worldwide to adopt more sustainable practices.” 

To achieve the goal of zero waste to landfill, Subaru Park cut the amount of waste each fan generates by recycling. After some evaluation and research, products that were better for recycling or compostable were brought into the 18,500-capacity stadium, meaning Subaru Park saved 47,000 pounds of plastic cups. 

More than 100 Max-R Containers – essentially a three-stream recycling station for recycling, compostables and rubbish – were installed around Subaru Park. This resulted in fans being able to properly dispose of their waste.

Venue management firm Spectra also aided Subaru Park in its efforts, by installing new containers, educating their staff and ensuring that any material that could be recycled was separated and processed. 

Tim McDermott, Philadelphia Union president, added: “We are incredibly proud to achieve this milestone alongside our partners at Subaru of America. We firmly believe that through our work with Subaru, we are helping our fans and soccer community reduce our impact on the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling waste at Subaru Park. 

“Subaru has blazed a trail for sustainability by making Subaru Park an example to the rest of MLS.”

Image: andywitchger/CC BY 2.0/Edited for Size