Mayor Jerry Abramson; Steve Sexton, President of Churchill Downs; Pat Franc, President of ARCO Aluminum; and Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corporation today announced a joint project that will re-energize the recycling program at the historic racetrack in time for the Kentucky Oaks and Derby races. Anheuser-Busch Recycling is joining the program which was established at the tracks two years ago.
"With the city and the country's premier racetrack working together, we will set an example for the entire world that Louisville is a recycling community," Abramson said. "I am pleased that we have so many groups working together for a common goal during this spectacular time in our city."
Visitors to Churchill Downs on Oaks and Derby days may recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles in the infield or the satellite parking at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The large recycling containers are marked with "Go Green Louisville -- Get in the Loop" logos.
"Race to Recycle is an exemplary effort by the sponsors to establish a "Green" identity for the beverage containers as a sustainable package and also increase the awareness of recycling in the community," said Franc. "This program takes the recycling message to the thousands of people who visit the tracks throughout the year but also gets the community involved through the school recycling challenge after Oaks and Derby," he added.
Last year, visitors to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby generated about 174 tons of trash. It is estimated that almost 50 percent of that tonnage is recyclable.
"This recycling initiative is a proven winner at Churchill Downs and other sports venues because it allows fans who are concerned about the environment to actively do something to help," said Rob Thoele, region manager for Anheuser-Busch Recycling, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. "Because of the City of Louisville's support and commitment, and the dedication of our partners at ARCO Aluminum, this program will keep a significant amount of used beverage containers from reaching landfills. At the end of this festive weekend, we can all take pride in our efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle."
Three local schools will send teams to Churchill Downs after the Derby to collect recyclables from the infield, paddock, parking lot and other areas near the track. Approximately 90 students and 30 instructors will take part in the post-Derby collection. A portion of the proceeds from the recyclables collected by the students will go to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
"Churchill Downs is pleased to join the city, ARCO Aluminum and Anheuser-Busch in this partnership to re-energize this very significant recycling project," Sexton said. "This community has been our home for 134 years, and we hope this will inspire similar efforts throughout the community and our horse industry to recycle and help improve the quality of life in this region."
The Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management Department will collect the recyclables on a regular basis throughout the spring and fall meets. The materials will be transported to a recovery facility for processing.