Twins win Green Glove Award for diverting 99% of waste from landfills

Just before Earth Day, the Minnesota Twins have been named the recipient of the 2021 Green Glove Award, which is given to the MLB club with the highest diversion rate.

In 2021, the Twins saved nearly 99% of waste at Target Field from landfills, which the club says is driven by the club’s partners and fans’ efforts.

Minnesota is the first club other than the San Francisco Giants or Seattle Mariners to win the award since it started in 2008.

“Our commitment to sustainability informed the design and construction of Target Field, while guiding how we operate and maintain the ballpark each and every day since first opening its gates,” Twins President & CEO Dave St. Peter said in a statement. “There is a shared pride in Target Field’s standing as the ‘Greenest Ballpark in America,’ along with a recognition of the broader impact and importance. I applaud our entire organization, our fans, and our dedicated community and commercial partners, for their tireless and continued efforts to ensure the Twins and our ballpark are true environmental stewards.”

Target Field, which opened in 2010, was named the “Greenest Ballpark in America” in 2017 after it became the first sports venue in the country to earn three levels of LEED certification for sustainability. The team also won the U.S. Green Building Council’s 2019 Leadership Award for green building and sustainable practices.

During last season, the Twins say 33.8% of waste at Target Field was compostable, 33.4% was recycled, 0.8% was unused and donated to local charities, and 31.1% was noncompostable and nonrecyclable.

Since 2011, the Twins say they’ve composted 3,796 tons of organic material, recycled 4,743 tons and sent 4,190 tons of noncompostable, nonrecyclable trash to Hennepin Energy Recovery Center. HERC processes 90% of the trash it collects in the county to create high-pressure steam, generating enough electricity to power 25,000 homes, the organization says.

In addition, the club says they partner with Delaware North Sportservice to donate more than 10 tons of food each season that is prepared but untouched to area charities. So far, Twins officials say this effort has helped keep more than 63 tons of waste out of landfills.

“Our organization puts a real emphasis on doing the right thing, the right way and for the right reasons,” Twins Vice President of Ballpark Operations Dave Horsman said in a statement. “Waste diversion is important for many reasons, not the least of which is the sheer amount of waste that a professional sports venue can produce. Anything we can do to reduce the potential negative impact of waste is important, and we will find a way to get it done.”

MLB also announced special Earth Day celebrations for Friday’s games. As part of that, Twins pitcher Joe Ryan is partnering with Players for the Planet to plant a tree for each strikeout he records this season. The Twins also hosted an electronics recycling drive on Tuesday, donating the collected materials to Minnesota Tech for Success.