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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – There was a big story involving the Cardinals Monday for something that had almost nothing to do with what happened on the field.

The EPA gave the team a pre-game commendation:  kind of like a trophy for winning the World Series of leftovers.  Since 2008, the team officials say they’ve kept 2000 tons of what they used to throw away, out of landfills.

According to the EPA, that’s far and away the best of any pro sports franchise.
For the EPA Region 7 Administrator, Karl Brooks, and staff, getting into the Cardinals kitchen to meet the chef was like getting onto the field to meet Cardinals Manager, Mike Matheny.

When it comes to leftovers from the ballpark kitchens, it turns out the Cardinals are world champs.

“If every Major League Baseball club did what the Cardinals did, we would save hundreds of thousands of tons of food waste at every stadium across the country,” Brooks said.

“We’re looking to expand in the future to the concession areas and onto the concourses eventually.  Right now we just started the first 3 years where we have more control of what goes into the containers so we don’t contaminate the compost.  Eventually we’d like to expand it to the stadium all throughout,” said Hosei Maruyama of the Cardinals Stadium Operations staff.

That way all of the prepared, but left-over or partly eaten food could be used as part of another recipe; along with the leftovers from the field the players play on.

“Grass clippings dirt and the food waste,” said Maruyama.

“Chances are that will end up in somebody’s garden or park,” Brooks said.

Unused, uncooked foods, like hot dog buns, for example, go to food pantries.

The EPA awarded the Cardinals on the field for reducing food waste alone by 85%.

There’s also plastic and aluminum recycling; plus enough rooftop solar beyond the outfield
to power the team store.

“We just think it’s the right thing to do,” Maruyama said.

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