By Andy Morgan

Soda cans and water bottles aren’t the only things destined for recycling at this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson.

Thousands of yards of branded cloth material – also known as “scrim” -- used for tournament signs and to help designate spectator areas will be recycled and made into some 1,000 student backpacks.

Nicole Anderson, an AT&T associate vice president for citizenship and sustainability, calls the process “upcycling.”

“We’ll end up with about 4 tons of material from the AT&T Byron Nelson,” Anderson said. “We’ll upcycle a portion of that, turning it into backpacks in time for school next fall, and recycle the rest.”

Anderson hopes to work with AT&T employee groups to stuff the backpacks with school supplies before they’re distributed to students in southern Dallas.

“This upcycling effort meshes well with the sustainability efforts of Trinity Forest Golf Club, the new home of the AT&T Byron Nelson,” said Shiz Suzuki, AT&T assistant vice president-sponsorships. “The course just won a major environmental award, so we’re proud to do our part to keep the focus on sustainability.”

It’s not the first time that our golf tournament collateral has been given a new use. Caddy bibs, or the aprons the pro caddies wear during tournament play, from the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson have been reborn as luggage tags.

AT&T is giving out about 2,500 of the tags to AT&T customers, Pro-Am golfers and members of the media at this year’s tournament.

“As a company, our environmental sustainability efforts are growing and expanding into several areas, including our sponsored events, like the AT&T Byron Nelson,” Anderson said. “As part of that effort, whenever we see an opportunity to transform ‘trash’ into something useful that can benefit the local community, we’re taking a look at it. And that’s exciting.”

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AT&T Citizenship & Sustainability employees Amy Ramos, left, and Nicole Anderson check over a box of luggage tags made from “upcycled” signage from the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson tournament. This year, tournament signage will be reused to make about 1,000 backpacks for students in southern Dallas.