New York’s Citi Field was preparing to host the 10th annual NHL Winter Classic – a pop-up, outdoor, professional hockey game, which included a significant amount of operational logistics. The NHL’s sustainability division, NHL Green, was looking to partner with the stadium to reduce the game’s environmental impact due to the increase in materials required to host the event, as well as waste produced during the game.

RTS Solution

Waste Diversion Assessment

The Winter Classic event team was able to build the hockey rink so the wood could be easily dismantled, deconstructed, and reused after the event. The team looked to RTS for alternative options to disposing both the wood and unused synthetic ‘snow’ with RTS’ network of donation partners, and it relied upon RTS to track the amount of landfill diversion achieved.

Optimized Logistics

By coordinating with the events and operations team, RTS was able to pre-coordinate waste removal logistics and predesignate destinations for reusable items. Several on-site meetings also generated ideas for additional diversion opportunities, finding uses for material that would have otherwise been discarded.

Game Time Recycling

As an added feature, the facility was able to ensure all trash bins were situated next to recycling bins. To increase fan awareness of the recycling program, the stadium, in partnership with NRDC and RTS, brought together a “green team” to make its way through the stands and collect recyclables during the game.

We were thrilled to hear RTS was a partner at Citi Field. Data collection is a growing priority for sustainability at NHL arenas, and gaining greater insights is key to building out those programs.
– Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, NHL


Bulk Waste Diversion

For the first time in NHL Winter Classic history, nearly 18,000 square feet of wood used to construct the hockey rick and 22 rolls of synthetic snow were donated to New York Materials for the Arts (MFTA) for reuse.

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