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Environment Scores Big Win With Zero-Waste Legacy Project at Super Bowl LII

PepsiCo

Environment scores big win with zero-waste legacy project at Super Bowl LII (PRNewsfoto/PepsiCo)

Environment scores big win with zero-waste legacy project at Super Bowl LII (PRNewsfoto/PepsiCo)

PURCHASE, N.Y.Feb. 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The NFL, in partnership with PepsiCo, Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium, SMG and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, scored a zero-waste legacy project at Super Bowl LII, with 91 percentii of all trash generated on gameday from 67,612 fans responsibly recovered through composting, recycling and reuse. The landmark project marks the highest diversion rate achieved at U.S. Bank Stadium and at any previous Super Bowl, and aims to serve as the benchmark for future large-scale events.

The results are in following the big game: nearly 63 tons of the 69 tons of gameday waste were recovered through recycling or donation for reuse (62 percent) and composting (29 percent). Recovering waste through composting and recycling reduces waste disposal costs and provides several environmental benefits including reduction of landfill use and reduction of the greenhouse gas generated by the landfill process, gasses which contribute significantly to global warming.

“The zero-waste legacy project is a testament to teamwork, with multiple partners coming together to achieve an ambitious environmental goal,” said Director of the NFL’s Environmental Program JACK GROH. “The NFL is proud that this program was not only successful at Super Bowl LII, but will also serve as a permanent installation at the stadium and leave a lasting impact on the community.”

U.S. Bank Stadium partners, including the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, stadium operator SMG, and Aramark, kicked off the effort to achieve a zero-waste operation in 2017, and were joined by the NFL and PepsiCo in the lead-up to Super Bowl LII.

“SMG is always striving to raise industry standards through our operation at U.S. Bank Stadium and our commitment to sustainability is no different. In our first season, we produced a waste diversion rate of 20 percent. Over the course of our second season our team increased that diversion rate to 91 percent,” says PATRICK TALTY, SMG General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium. “Developing a successful and long-term zero-waste program has always been our goal. The diversion improvement we have seen to date is rare in the world of facility management and is a testament to the dedication of all of our stadium partners.”

“U.S. Bank Stadium’s journey to the zero-waste threshold has been demanding, and we couldn’t have gotten here without the commitment of our stadium partners,” said MICHAEL VEKICH, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, owner of U.S. Bank Stadium. “We look forward to sharing our experiences with other facilities who are interested in this important sustainability program.”

Read the full story.

NFL’s Super Challenge: Recycling Food Wrappers and Beer Cups From 60,000 Fans

Star Tribune
By 

From blinking cups to purses, NFL, stadium aim for maximum recycling. 

2018.01.24-NFLRecycling-IMAGE

Heidi Riley dumped plastic into a recycling bin after a game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Photo Credit: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

They have finally found a home for the purses.

Whether it was a Fendi shoulder sling or a Trader Joe’s tote, the thousands of bags that Vikings fans have relinquished at U.S. Bank Stadium security gates during the past two years wound up in a landfill or incinerator.

But in the drive to score what the NFL and stadium officials hope will be the first zero-waste Super Bowl — and launch the first zero-waste football stadium — those fans can now donate their bags to the women’s nonprofit Dress for Success.

That’s one of the more novel solutions the stadium has adopted in its effort to dramatically increase the amount of gameday trash that is put to good use through recycling or composting.

“There are Coach purses — our women are ecstatic,” said Stephanie Silvers, executive director of Dress for Success, which provides financial education and job-hunting support for 1,000 women a year

It’s taken awhile to get to this point, stadium and NFL officials acknowledge. A year ago, the stadium was recycling 20 percent of the garbage that left the stadium after every game and event — up to 40 tons in total — mostly food waste and non-recyclable containers. And those purses.

Now “we are well down the path,” said Mike Vekich, chairman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

But getting there took a lot of work.

In the last year, the food vendors have all switched to compostable containers. The stadium purchased some 375 clearly marked, $1,500 single and triple compartmented bins, which now stand like sentinels along the concourses and in all the suites. Then there are three massive compactors in the bowels of the building to compress each type of waste before it’s loaded into waiting trucks.

The stadium management firm, SMG, has hired a sustainability manager, arranged to donate all unopened food from the kitchens to food shelves, and contracted to deliver recyclables and organics to the Hennepin County Recycling and Transfer Station in Brooklyn Park and a composting facility in Rosemount.

“It’s an unbelievably large operation,” said Paul Kroening, Hennepin County’s supervising environmentalist. “It takes a lot to feed 50 or 60 thousand people.”

And now, with Super Bowl LII just weeks away, U.S. Bank Stadium is ready for its oh-so-green debut.

Read the full story.

The Surprising Way This Major Surfing Competition Is Making Composting Mainstream

Rodales Organic Life

Christine Yu

Sports events are starting to play a huge role in keeping the planet healthy.

Photo Credit: World Surf Leagues

Photo Credit: World Surf Leagues

Along the side of the dirt road at Waihuena Farms, this small-scale organic farm on the North Shore of Oahu is making what one of its farmers calls, “boutique, artisan compost.” Using a Japanese composting technique called bokashi, staff and volunteers mix food waste with a brew of microorganisms, pickling the food and creating a potent fertilizer that feeds the farm’s plant beds.

But the organic waste isn’t just scraps from the farm and landscapers around the island. In November and December, over 3,000 pounds comes from the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, a premier three-event series of professional surf competitions that draws tens of thousands of people to the North Shore every year. The City and County lifeguards of Honolulu estimate that on competition days, an average of 25,000 people can pack the beach to watch the world’s best surfers in action.

However, the increase in visitors also brings a surge in trash, putting a strain on the island’s waste management system and natural resources.

Waihuena Farms is part of a unique partnership between Vans and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a local grassroots nonprofit organization, to decrease the impact of the Triple Crown on the island state and the environment. “Our goal is always to leave no footprint behind,” says Kim Matsoukas, Senior Manager for Sustainability and Social Responsibility for Vans.

Through a full-scale waste management system, they divert approximately 65 percent of overall waste from the Triple Crown away from landfills and incinerators a year, an increase from 29 percent in 2013.

During the competition period, Sustainable Coastlines sets up bins on the beach and regularly sorts and empties the trash. To encourage people to sort their trash into the proper waste stream, the bins are clearly labeled—recycle, compost, and trash. All approved caterers and food vendors don’t sell single-use plastic bottles and are required to use compostable plates and utensils.

 Then, the utensils, napkins, food containers, and food waste are collected and taken to Waihuena Farms, chipped down, and added to the compost piles and into the garden. “This is where Ke Nui Kitchen sources a lot of their food, which they then feed back to the competitors at the Vans Triple Crown,” says Kahi Pacarro, Executive Director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Even the cardboard from the events are used as weed mats on the farm to kill weeds and prep the soil for planting. Plus, since there are no commercial composting facilities on Oahu, the partnership helps return some of the natural resources back to the island.
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