Round Rock Express Goes Green Tonight
As grounds crews put the finishing touches on the field, shoveling around excess dirt and making sure the patterns in the grass are completely symmetrical, crews inside the stadium are getting ready for the 10,000 fans expected to attend tonight’s game. This year they’re doing things differently.
“You’ve got basic glass and plastic,” said George King, the team’s vice president and general manager, pointing on the main concourse to a pair of bins, one for recycling and one for compost, flanking what looks like a tiny trash can. “And if you ate it, if it was alive at some point, it’s going to go in the compost.”
King calls these “eco-centers” and says the dramatic size difference is on purpose.
“The point being, there’s not much trash, that’s not a very big trash can,” King said. “Maybe not all of that is trash, and make them think when they walk up to the center.”
Texas Disposal Systems has the contract to take care of all of the recycling, compost and trash coming out of the Dell Diamond. TDS will process everything at its facility in Creedmoor.
“Our advantage is that we want to sustain our landfill for as long as possible,” said Stephanie Jordan with TDS. “Anything we can divert from there helps us do that. And it’s just a good green Earth initiative.”
The greening of the Dell Diamond goes beyond recycling. This summer, the ballpark will participate in the city of Round Rock’s water reclamation project. In fact, it’ll be the city’s first commercial customer. All of the grounds inside and outside the stadium will be watered with treated wastewater.
Last year, the Dell Diamond used 8.7 million gallons of potable water.
“It’s closer to rainwater than actual tap water, so it might actually help us out chemically in the long run,” said Garrett Reddehase, the team’s head groundskeeper.
Reddehase says the stadium wasn’t exempt from last year’s water restrictions. And he had to resort to hand watering just to keep the field grass alive and safe for players.
By using wastewater, the Dell Diamond won’t have to adhere to city water restrictions. The Express will also get a 25 percent break on its water bill.
George King says the ultimate goal is for the Dell Diamond to be the first zero-waste sports facility in the nation.
“With both of these initiatives, both as a sports enterprise and an outdoor facility, jump to the front of the line in terms of who’s doing what around the country,” he said. “And it’s a good way to give legs to the conversation. If the Dell Diamond can do it, why can’t we do it?”
You can check out the new eco-centers — and catch a baseball game — tonight at the Dell Diamond. The Express will play the Iowa Cubs at 7:05.