2026 World Cup to highlight Lumen Field's groundbreaking recycling program

SEATTLE - Whether it’s a Seahawks game, Sounders match or concert, Seattle sports fans create tons of garbage.

Nobody knows that better than Christy Briggs, who runs the recycling program at Lumen Field.

"We are going through about 16 tons of waste from a Seahawks game. About eight tons of that is compost, about six is recycling, and the rest goes to landfill. We’d love to find the solutions to the landfill issues, but chip bags and candy wrappers both are just those weird things that there isn’t a solution out there yet," Briggs said.

But Christy and her team are making big strides, thanks to the help of a unique, one-of-a-kind sorting machine.

The machine drastically reduces the workload for event staff, as a job that used to take 100 people to sort and recycle after a game now only requires around 20 people.

"It’s helping take it from five days to 36 hours. After a Seahawks game, we can have all of our trash sorted and off site," Briggs said. "So we went from having about a 12% contamination rate in our compost to less than 1%, which makes it easier and that much better as a compost product."

Lumen Field holds nearly 72,000 fans, so waste builds up quickly. But for Christy, she loves talking trash.

"After a game, you look up and it's shiny with all the bottles sitting in the cup holders and you can kind of look around and see. And then 24 hours later you look and it’s clean and that waste has all been sorted and that waste, we only have to touch once. We touch it when we pick it up, goes in the bag, and it goes directly into the right bins so we’re not multi-handling it."

Even FIFA is excited about the recycling program at Lumen Field. The Federation is confident the world will see incredible soccer, but just as important, fans around the globe will learn the importance of recycling.

Stay with FOX 13 for more coverage as we led you up to World Cup 2026.


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