Sustainability

Philadelphia Union's Subaru Park to become first zero landfill stadium in the U.S.

The new bins will help make the park's operations more sustainable.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Subaru Park, home of the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer (MLS) team, is set to become the first zero landfill stadium in the U.S. with a little help from their naming rights sponsor. Think about how many popcorn boxes, cotton candy bags, nacho trays, and plastic cups are left over after a match. In 2019 alone, Subaru Park recycled more than 40,000 pounds of cardboard.

With the help of know-how behind the Subaru Love Promise campaign, the stadium will work to remove the estimated 357,480 pounds of waste it would typically put into landfills each year from the cycle. That's the equivalent of a Philadelphia cheesesteak that's 19 miles high and 50 miles wide, or the height of 20 Mt. Everests-worth of stacked aluminum cans.

Subaru Park recycling bin The new bins sort waste into three different categories.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

"At Subaru, we've spent years perfecting our Zero Landfill philosophy and helping organizations reduce their environmental footprint. We've learned a lot, and we're thrilled to bring our knowledge to Subaru Park and the greater Philadelphia area," said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. "With the goal of becoming the first Zero Landfill stadium in MLS, we hope our work with the Philadelphia Union will set the standard for environmental best practices at professional sports stadiums nationwide."

TO achieve its goal, Subaru Park will deploy 111 MAX-R Containers throughout various location within the facility. These new front-of-house waste containers house three different streams of waste disposal and are similar to what you'll find in your local Whole Foods or Wegmans dining area.

Subaru will provide ambassadors to help educate fans with waste disposal and share Subaru Zero Landfill project best practices. Once the waste is collected in the MAX-R containers, the Union will be assisted in the waste removal process with the help of Spectra, Recycle Track Systems, Inc. (RTS), and Covanta Environmental Solutions.

"The partnership between the Union and Subaru of America was founded on the vision and desire to create a better future for our fans and surrounding community," said Tim McDermott, Philadelphia Union President. "In the year since our partnership was announced, we've made great strides in reaching our ambitions through initiatives that support pet adoption and helping food insecure populations. As a club known for innovation and a community-first mindset, our mission to achieve Zero Landfill status is a milestone in our relationship with Subaru and the history of our organization."

The waste that can't be recycled, such as restroom paper towels, utensils, and other items, will be hauled by Recycle Track systems and sent to Covanta Environmental Solutions where the material will be used to generate steam that will turn the turbines to produce electricity for the Philadelphia area.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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The Solterra is Subaru's first EV.

Subaru

Months of teases and rumors are over, as Subaru has just taken wraps off of its Solterra electric SUV. The EV was developed in conjunction with Toyota, whose own electrified SUV debuted earlier this year. Subaru unveiled the SUV at an event in Japan, and while the U.S. version won't be shown until next week, this international reveal gives us a great idea of what we'll see.

Subaru Solterra The Solterra is nearly identical to the Toyota bZ4X in several key areas.Subaru

Since Subaru worked jointly with Toyota on the EV program, the Solterra is more than a close relative of Toyota's bZ4X – it's nearly identical, down to the powertrain. Up front, the Subaru EV splits from its Toyota counterpart with fake grille panels, but the vehicle's sides and overall shape are practically interchangeable. The Solterra's interior is almost a mirror image of the bZ4X, but there's no yoke steering wheel.

The Japanese specs aren't remarkable, but they're nothing to sneeze at, either. The crossover comes with a 71.4 kWh battery that should deliver a 250-mile range by EPA standards. Two drivetrains are offered, including a front-wheel drive version with a 150-kW motor and an all-wheel drive model with two 80-kW motors.

Subaru Solterra Subaru will show the Solterra at the LA Auto Show next week.Subaru

Subaru will announce the North American version of the Solterra next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. There may be minor differences in equipment and appearance, but the Subaru EV we see here should be close to the vehicle shown off in Japan. Subaru says that Solterra deliveries will start in mid-2022.

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