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Recycling and Roses Come to Churchill Downs

Thursday April 27, 2006

Mayor Jerry Abramson; Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs; and Pat Franc, president of ARCO Aluminum, today announced a partnership that will bring recycling to the historic racetrack for the first time and beautify the area surrounding Churchill Downs.

“With the city and the country’s premier racetrack working together, we will set an example for the entire world that Louisville is a recycling community,” Abramson said. “I am pleased we will be able to launch the initiative for Kentucky Derby 132.” Aluminum cans and plastic bottles generated from the crowds attending the Kentucky Derby will be collected at 6 a.m. on the Sunday morning after the race. The city has hired the Atherton High School Track Team, comprised of some 50 students, to sift through the infield trash for recyclables. The cost of the cleaning crew will be paid using part of the $5,000 award the city received last year when it partnered with ARCO for the U.S. Conference of Mayors “Cans for Cash” competition.

Last year, visitors to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby generated about 111 tons of trash. It is estimated that this year almost 25% of that tonnage will be recycled and diverted from the landfill as a result of this initiative.

“Churchill Downs is pleased to join the city and ARCO Aluminum in this partnership to launch this very significant recycling project that starts with the Kentucky Derby,” Sexton said. “This community has been our home for 132 years, and we hope this project will inspire similar efforts throughout the community and our horse industry to recycle and help improve the quality of life in this region.”

ARCO Aluminum will provide about 50 recycling receptacles to Churchill Downs as part of the continuing effort to sustain recycling after the “Run for the Roses” is complete. The cans will be placed the week after Derby and will remain at the track for the spring and fall meets. “As responsible corporate citizens, we consider it our duty to enhance and promote recycling and environmental awareness activities in our community,” Franc said.

The Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management Department will be collecting the recyclables on a regular basis throughout the spring and fall meets. The materials will be transported to a recovery facility for processing. The revenue generated from the recyclables will be sent to Churchill Downs for distribution to charities the company supports.

Roses Planted Along Expressway Near Track
The partnership between the city and Churchill Downs also will extend in to the neighborhoods surrounding the racetrack. Yesterday, Brightside crews began planting 500 “Knock Out” rose bushes along the on- and off-ramps of I-264 at Southern Parkway. Churchill Downs and Brightside are sharing the cost of the $10,000 planting project that will blanket 100,000 square feet with bright red blooms.

“It will certainly be a fresh Derby welcome when our residents and visitors make their way to the track,” Abramson said. “Churchill Downs has been an exceptional corporate citizen and good neighbor in helping us enhance and beautify the area.”

Knock Out roses are bred to be especially hardy and disease resistant. The roses bloom from early spring until the first frost.