Busch Stadium Cardinals game clean up crew 175 strong

7:38 AM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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By Heidi Glaus

St. Louis (KSDK) -- Cleaning up your own house can be a lot of work, so imagine cleaning up after thousands of people night after night.  NewsChannel 5 viewer Maria Yaeger wanted to know what it takes to clean-up Busch Stadium after a St. Louis Cardinals game, so Heidi Glaus caught up with the crews to find out.

There's something about being at Busch Stadium that pulls people to peanuts. Put 45,000 plus into the equation and peanuts aren't exactly appetizing, at least not to Joe Abernathy, Vice-President of Stadium Operations.

"They are the bain of our existence," Abernathy says.

They are otherwise known as the most challenging piece of trash to scrape up. However, peanut skins and shells are a small part of the rather large piles.

"It's over a pound of trash per person that comes into the park and we've just sort of allowed people to put it at your seat. If you were over at your neighbor's house, and you left all of your trash, they wouldn't be very happy about it. Unfortunately, that's the way it is in baseball," Abernathy adds.

The good news is it creates quite a few jobs.

"Roughly about 175," Ray Allen, Project Manager at the stadium.

So after every home game, a crew of about 175 starts around midnight tackling section after section for close to eight hours.

"We'll start in the lower bowl and work our way all the way up and hose the whole facility down," Allen explains.

They not only grab, but separate what can be recycled.

"Over 30 percent of the trash we generate now is recycled as opposed to going to local landfills," Abernathy points out.

Of course, that overnight crew isn't alone in the clean-up effort.

"We have in-game clean-up staff. All of our ushers are trained to watch for trash and help pick up and the volunteers to help us recycle and shucks, we'll even encourage fans to help us out," Abernathy says.

So as fans cross their fingers for a sweep, realize there's a crew literally sweeping night after night under the moonlight.

"This is baseball heaven so we want to do our best to keep it looking like heaven for every game," Abernathy adds.



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