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Monday, 03.24.2008 / 1:14 PM ET / Blue & Gold Make Green
By Erin Pollina  -
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HSBC Arena has found addition by subtraction.

By eliminating waste and reducing the amount of energy used, the rink is gaining efficiency and helping the environment in the process.

The first step, and perhaps the most obvious, involves recycling materials accumulated in the rink.

Receptacles were placed in all offices in the building as well as the press level to recycle paper. The staff also recycles all cardboard in the building, which totaled more than 2.5 tons alone last year.

“We recycle all of our computer and office equipment as well. We don’t just trash it,” Director of Arena Operations Stan Makowski said. “We deal with a certified recycler so that the mercury and other things in the computers that could be harmful don’t go in the landfills.”

Sportservice, the arena’s concessions provider, is also participating in the movement, developing a pilot program to recycle glass, plastic and metal from the building’s kitchens.

Although in its preliminary stages, the program monitors how much recyclable material is generated and based on the information will adapt a system that can dispose of it properly.

What Makowski and the arena staff eventually hope to do is change the purchasing policies to make them ‘greener,’ with distributors such as Sportservice following suit.

“We are working closely with the Sportservice management and staff to evaluate ways we can reduce our environmental footprint and they are very supportive of our efforts,” Makowski said.

As the organization buys anything from “office equipment, carpeting and construction materials,” the policies will ensure that the Sabres are getting the most environmentally friendly supplies.

In addition, there are some policies already implemented in the building.

All of the paper products utilized, including bath tissue and paper towels, are Environmental Choice certified. The certification makes certain that not only the product but the operation system used to make it are environmentally sound.

“And we do other smaller things,” Makowski said.

Lighting and HVAC are actually controlled to ensure that only those areas that require lighting or climate control are using energy.

“We also maintain all of our equipment so our HVAC and ice equipment is running as efficiently as possible,” he said. “We even do things, when you really get into it, like using walk-off mats to trap dirt at the door so you don’t have to use as much cleaning products throughout the building.”

Sometimes, the smaller things can make a big impact.

For more information on how to become a member of the Buffalo Sabres Green Team, click here and look for Paul Gaustad’s Green Tips of the Game at HSBC Arena.
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