By Drew Andre
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is one of the biggest events on the Central Coast, and with the thousands of people eating and drinking it creates mountains of trash.
“Our job out here first and foremost is to take care of the golf course, and all the waste that comes off the golf course,” COO Blue Strike Environmental Rico Tesio said.
For the past five years the Pro-Am has been a zero waste event. The event has been Gold Level certified by the council for responsible sport in each of those five years.
“Millions and millions of dollars in hotel rooms and restaurant tabs, and all that goes on this week but there’s a tremendous environmental footprint that goes along with that that often times doesn’t get seen,” Tesio said.
The tournament hires Blue Strike Environmental to make sure garbage form every purchase is properly handled. Last year, there was more than 170 tons of waste throughout the event.
Blue Strike hires local non-profits like Victory Outreach Home in Salinas to help pickup and sort that waste.
“Make sure the recycling is recycled so it can be reused, and the trash that is compostable goes to the compost and the the trash trash is separated out,” Sarah Ingraham from Victory Outreach said.
“When we come out here it actually helps out our homes, it helps keep the doors open for our ministry,” Ingraham said.
IN 2018, 91% of the events waste was diverted from the landfill.
“To be able to minimize that only allows these events to continue to give back to the communities buy not damaging and hurting them,” Tesio said.
Tesio said this event produces more waste than any other on the central coast, but it will be nothing compared to the U.S. Open coming to Pebble beach in June.
This year the tournament is seeking an environmental certification from the Golf Environment Organization.