Special Reports

'Greener' arena to include recycling

Intrust Bank Arena officials say they are working toward running a "greener" facility now that they've gotten past their grand opening.

Sedgwick County commissioner Kelly Parks said he tried to recycle a Pepsi bottle during a recent reception for elected officials and was disappointed when the person serving him told him the arena didn't recycle plastic.

"I was wanting to put it in a recycle bin," he said. "That was my only personal disappointment over there."

The arena recycles office paper and cardboard, general manager Chris Presson said. It plans to recycle plastic and other materials in the future.

The arena has ordered recycling bins and hopes to have them in place before the first Thunder hockey game, which is Jan. 23.

Glass is not allowed in the arena.

Soda fountain drinks at concession stands are served in paper cups. Alcoholic drinks are served in plastic cups. Some beer and soda is served in aluminum cans; plans are under way to recycle aluminum as well.

Bottled nonalcoholic drinks also are for sale, but Presson said that the arena sells more fountain drinks.

"We don't have a lot of plastic to recycle," he said.

SMG, which manages the arena, hasn't talked to the county about recycling plastic. "The county leaves it up to us to manage the facility," Presson said.

Sarah Haertl, director of sales and marketing for the arena, said that the arena tries to use recyclable paper products when possible and that its in-house cleaning service uses environmentally friendly products.

Parks said he would like to see all materials recycled.

The Sprint Center in Kansas City sorts and recycles its trash, including plastic, said Emily Rand, that arena's manager of communications and marketing.

Efforts are under way to add recycling bins to the concourse levels and suites so eventgoers can sort items on the front end, Rand said.

Commissioner Dave Unruh said he is glad the arena is looking into recycling more.

"I think if they're recycling those major items and working toward recycling more, I would encourage them to continue that," he said.

Commissioner Karl Peterjohn noted that the county has promoted recycling as part of its overall management of trash.

Peterjohn said he supported the arena's efforts to increase recycling.

"If it makes good sense to do so, I think that's worthwhile," he said.

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