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USC Wins Pac-12 Zero Waste Competition For Second Year

USC News
by Ian Chaffee

The Pac-12 announced that USC was the member university that diverted the most waste from the landfill during a game last fall. (USC Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

The Pac-12 announced that USC was the member university that diverted the most waste from the landfill during a game last fall. (USC Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

As the players on USC’s football team claimed possession of the Pac-12 crown in 2017, the fans living and dying with those Trojans during fall Saturdays at the Coliseum were doing their part to hold on to a championship of their own.

Last week, the Pac-12 Conference officially announced USC as Zero Waste Competition champions for the second consecutive year. Despite the Pac-12 also calling the competition the “Zero Waste Bowl,” this wasn’t quite like those games that cap each college football season.

However, the accomplishment might be even more impressive than winning one of those vaunted January games because of what it says about the victors as stewards of the planet.

The “Zero Waste Bowl” is a competition between every Pac-12 institution that determines which member university diverted the most waste from the landfill at a selected football and men’s basketball game, as well as which used the most innovative methods to expand reach and impact of sustainability education efforts.

Each school is then judged on a summary scorecard describing the efforts involved in the “zero waste” football and basketball games that they submitted. These games are scored in three different categories: participation rate, overall innovation, and most importantly, the actual rate of waste diversion itself.

The judges’ panel that awarded USC the championship included conference representative, basketball legend and longtime sustainability enthusiast Bill Walton; Graham Oberly, sustainability coordinator at The Ohio State University; and Mike Carey, sustainability coordinator at Orange Coast College.

The winning entry submitted by the team from USC Sustainability was for the Oct. 14, 2017 football game against Utah, where a 90.96 percent diversion rate was achieved by fans and crew at the Coliseum. Fans at the game were encouraged to participate through promotional activities like an interactive tailgate, giveaways, flash mobs, a live trumpet brigade, confetti cannons and a “green game mascot” named “Recycle Man” who educated fans on the best methods of sustainable waste disposal and other sustainability best practices.

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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.

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NFL, PepsiCo And U.S. Bank Stadium Partners Including Aramark, SMG And The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Team Up To Score First Zero Waste Legacy Project At Super Bowl LII

Aramark

“Rush2Recycle” Will Intercept Waste at U.S. Bank Stadium, Home of the Minnesota Vikings

Image Courtesy of Rush2Recycle.com

Image Courtesy of Rush2Recycle.com

Project Aims to Set New Standard for Recycling and Waste Management at Future Large-Scale Events

The NFL, in partnership with PepsiCo, Aramark, U.S. Bank Stadium and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, today announced Rush2Recycle, a game plan to recover more than 90% – more than 40 tons – of stadium waste at Super Bowl LII on Sunday, Feb. 4. After months of preparation to eradicate trash materials from the stadium, the 90%+ gameday goal will maximize recycling and composting. This zero waste effort aims to leave a positive green legacy at U.S. Bank Stadium and in the Super Bowl host city, and create a playbook for other leagues, teams, site operators and fans to intercept waste in their communities.

On gameday, every chef, custodian and fan will be part of the team working to recover at least 90% of stadium waste by recycling bottles and cans, composting organic materials like food waste and service ware, and repurposing items like discarded handbags, signage and construction materials through local community organizations. Rush2Recyle staff will encourage stadium fans to recycle and compost. Through this process, stadium partners introduced a tri-bin waste collection system, invested in a dedicated organics compactor and implemented a detailed post-game waste sort to insure each waste stream is contaminant-free. This work will leave a lasting impact after the final whistle, as the stadium’s waste diversion infrastructure will be permanent installations at U.S. Bank Stadium, helping protect the environment and reduce waste hauling costs.

“The NFL is a responsible steward of the environment in all areas of our business,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “For 25 years, the NFL has strived to reduce the environmental impact of its events and leave a positive green legacy in host communities. Through this project, the League and its partners hope to set a new standard of environmental sustainability at the Super Bowl.”

The effort will also engage fans nationwide, inviting them to join the Rush2Recycle team and providing tips to recycle more and intercept waste at Super Bowl parties and year-round. PepsiCo and the Rush2Recycle ambassador – Super Bowl XL MVP and Pittsburgh Steelers Legend HINES WARD – are launching a social media campaign to showcase recycling MVPs across the country, and inspire fans to tackle waste in their communities. Ward will be sharing his own recycling end zone dance, the Rush2Recyle Shuffle, which will be made available at www.Rush2Recycle.com, along with tips and other resources.

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