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Twin Cities Charities Divert Tons of Waste From Super Bowl

Star Tribune
Twin Cities nonprofits have kept the Super Bowl leftovers from landfills. 

 

he Salvation Army is acting as a distribution hub for Super Bowl LII leftovers. Above, marketing director Michelle Wong with some of the donated items and food.

The Salvation Army is acting as a distribution hub for Super Bowl LII leftovers. Above, marketing director Michelle Wong with some of the donated items and food. Photo Source: Star Tribune

What could have become a giant dump of Super Bowl leftovers from U.S. Bank Stadium, the Convention Center and Nicollet Mall is instead being reused and repurposed by more than 20 local charities.

The Salvation Army has collected more than 1 million square feet of mesh fencing, banners and carpeting used before and during the Super Bowl and is distributing the materials to other local charities.

Then there’s the miscellaneous — the Kitten Bowl set, pallets of hand warmers, food and beverages, and supplies such as desks, pens, pencils and Post-it notes for more than 100 offices in the temporary headquarters.

“No one wants to take those supplies back with them, so we donate them to charities to use in classrooms,” said Jack Groh, director of the NFL Environmental Program, which facilitates the material recovery project. “It’s more than 2,000 pounds of supplies.”

More than 16 months ago, the National Football League’s Environmental Program began building a network of charities to use Super Bowl leftovers instead of sending them to the landfill.

“We’re the first pro sports league to do this,” Groh said. ”The initiative started 25 years ago and now we do it at major sports events like the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the draft.”

The Twin Cities Salvation Army took the lead by acting as a distribution hub for nearly all the items. It used most of its fleet of 18 donation trucks to collect the materials from four major sites and transported it to its warehouse and store at 900 N. 4th St. in Minneapolis. From there, the other 21 charities could pick up what was useful for them.

“It’s an enormous amount of stuff,” said Tom Canfield, administrator of operations for Twin Cities Salvation Army.

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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.”

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“Waste Not” proves to be a winning formula for Ohio State: BTN LiveBIG

Big Ten Network
By John Tolley

Image Source: Ohio State University. Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons, The Ohio State University

Image Source: Big Ten Network, Ohio State University. Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons, The Ohio State University

Ah, the sights and sounds of a college football game: the roar of cheering fans, the quarterback’s calls, the precision formation of that big brass band, the face paint, the foam fingers, the… garbage.

Yes, of course, for all the fun, live sporting events are a messy affair. At the end of the day, trashcans overflow with nacho trays and discarded programs, the seats and aisles are littered with peanut shells and sticky soda cups and the municipal dump groans under the weight of another heavy load.

But this common scenario could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a nationwide initiative called the GameDay Recycling Challenge. The program pits colleges and universities across the US against each other in an effort to see which school can reduce, recycle or otherwise divert the largest amount of their stadium waste away from landfills.

For the sixth consecutive year, The Ohio State University has led the Big Ten in the competition, diverting the largest single-game amount of waste in 2017 with 94.2 percent of stadium refuse kept out of the dump.

Speaking to the Ohio State news service, Tony Gillund, sustainability manager for Ohio State’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD), says that the GameDay Challenge is indicative of the Buckeyes’ larger commitment to reducing their ecological footprint.

“We are proud that the efforts of our zero-waste team continue to deliver positive results,” said Gillund. “Sustainability is a focus campus-wide as we work toward our university goals, including achieving zero waste on campus by 2025.”

At Ohio Stadium, a variety of steps, from maximizing compostable and recyclable materials used to installing zero waste stations, have been taken to ensure that the lowest amount of refuse possible is sent to area landfills. During games, 35 area high school students are employed to educate fans about how to properly dispose of their trash. Afterwards, the Ohio State Navy ROTC combs the stands collecting and sorting the detritus.

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