Obviously the 10 hectares of racing surface and the lawns are literally green but what about our care for the environment?
Delivering a world class sporting venue for 100 thoroughbreds and their connections everyday, whilst providing sustenance for up to 40,000 racegoers and 8,000 people enjoying lunch, presents some operational challenges, especially when you need to do it all again the next day. So we do use some labour saving devices and scientific advances to help and these also ensure we exceed the standards of hygiene and health and safety required of a public venue.
However, the York Racecourse team take their responsibility for the environment seriously. Here are some of things that are being done, many of them for the first time on a UK racecourse.
- Solar panels heat the water in the Knavesmire Stand.
- The new borehole provides up to 6,300,000 gallons of sustainable water supply that can be used to irrigate the course, therefore it is literally recycled from the aquifer under the car park and then back to the track.
- The glass recycling scheme on site has seen 120 tonnes recycled in the first eight months of the 2013 and this total will only increase.
- Boxes and restaurants have reverted to serving many drinks from glass bottles rather than cans or cartons so that the glass can be recycled.
- A lot of our food is sourced locally so that it is both fresh and mindful of its “food miles”, for example much of the cheese is from the Wensleydale creamery, and Bleikers Smokehouse in Harrogate provides our smoked fish.
- Our sandwich boxes and burger cartons use biodegradable packaging. The bulky cardboard outer packging used for some food deliveries is recycled. Over ten tonnes of cardboard is recycled through this system in a year.
- The various recycling and related programmes have led to a dramatic reduction in the amount of general waste from the site that is sent to landfill, over 75% is now addressed without the need of using land fill.
- The grass cuttings when the track is mowed are returned to the soil.
A natural seaweed based product is used as a bio stimulant as part of the preparation of the track itself.
- 70% of the horses stabled with us opt to use bedding made from recycled paper.
- The standard light bulbs around the site have switched to use energy efficient versions.
- As part of our ongoing maintenance and refurbishment programme we are increasing the insulation of our buildings and introducing more energy efficient lighting and heating.
Demonstrating that the little things can help make a difference, the kitchen in the office uses ecological washing up liquid.
The racecourse continues to look at further projects that involve recycling and energy saving.