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A Play-By-Play of Super Bowl LI’s Waste Diversion Efforts

By Mallory Szczepanski

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Millions of sports fans (and entertainment fans) tuned in to watch Super Bowl LI yesterday, which concluded with the New England Patriots victory over the Atlanta Falcons in a first-ever Super Bowl overtime. And while those fans were busy munching on tasty snacks, drinking refreshing beverages, cheering on their team and catching up with friends and family, the NFL and the staff at NRG Stadium in Houston were working to divert as much waste from landfill as possible.

In preparation for the big game, approximately 150 new recycling bins were placed throughout NRG Stadium, and about a dozen local agencies were recruited by the Houston Food Bank to help capture unserved, surplus food from the stadium.

Additionally, NRG Energy Inc. and its subsidiary Reliant partnered with the NFL to provide 100 percent Green-e certified renewable energy to NRG Stadium for a certain time period before, during and after the big game.

“As the official electricity company of NRG Stadium, we are proud to support the NFL and Houston by powering the largest U.S. sporting event with renewable energy certificates together with the onsite efficiency and renewable energy solutions,” said NRG Vice President of Sustainability Bruno Sarda in a statement. “At NRG, we want fans to benefit from sustainable solutions and together with the NFL, we can demonstrate that even a huge event like the Super Bowl can significantly reduce its energy usage.”

These sustainable efforts by NRG and its partners go hand-in-hand with its everyday goals to divert more material from landfill and to make its venues more sustainable.

Read the full story here.

Buckeyes Host Zero Waste Synchronized Swimming Invitational

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For the first time in school history the Ohio State Synchronized Swim team is set to host a zero waste event. That event is the season-opening OSU Zero Waste Invitational at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on Saturday.

The technical events will begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed by solo, duet and trio routines beginning at 2 p.m. In addition to the Buckeyes, athletes from Miami (Ohio), Michigan and Wright State will also be competing.

As a university, Ohio State has embarked on a campus wide effort to go zero waste by 2025. One of the first steps taken by the athletic department was to go zero waste at all home football game which meant diverting at least 90 percent of material from the landfill to either recycling or compost. Through one synchronized swim team member’s efforts, that same process will now play out at every event inside McCorkle this spring.

Tori Baron, an environment, economy, development and sustainability major, took her idea directly to Director of Athletics Gene Smith. With his help, and the help of others within the athletic department, Baron was able to secure McCorkle’s first zero waste event.

I went to an AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) conference last year and everyone was asking me about our process for zero waste at our football games. They thought it was tremendous that we were able to do that at such a big event. So I thought why can’t we do this at our meets this year? I asked Gene Smith at a meeting and he connected me with Mike Penner (Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations) and Graham Oberly (Sustainability Coordinator for Athletics) and with their help, we were able to get this going.”

“With being a student-athlete and asking to do something this big, I thought it was going to be a struggle,” Baron continued. “But I’m so thankful that everyone who has helped us throughout the process has been so enthusiastic and really wanting this to work. Graham Oberly has really played a huge role in getting this event together.”

What will fans notice differently this year than in years past? McCorkle will get six new zero waste bins which are separated into three compartments for recycling, compost and landfill. The food supplied to the teams and judges as well as food at the concession stands will be served on compostable materials and signage will be in place throughout the building directing fans where to recycle their trash. Volunteers will also be on hand at the bins helping fans determine what is or what is not recyclable.

Read the full story here.

Title Game’s ‘Green Project’ Aims to Limit Environmental Impact

Bay News 9
By Fallon Silcox, Reporter

Customized CFP recycle bins will be used around Raymond James Stadium on gameday.

Customized CFP recycle bins will be used around Raymond James Stadium on gameday.

There will be plenty of action Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.

  • CFP green project aims to limit envirnomental impact from title game
  • In addition to recycling, food will be repurposed and energy will be renewed
  • College Football Championship Tampa 

But there also has been plenty of action behind the scenes as there has been a “green” push on for the College Football Playoff Championship Game.

The initiative is a project started by the College Football Playoff to make sure the Bay area environment is not impacted negatively by the big game.

“What we’re trying to do is address all the different environmental impacts of the game,” said Jack Groh with Playoff Green Project. “We address things like food waste, solid waste, green energy, we do some work with urban forestry, too, and material donation.

“All the beautiful stuff that you’re going to see all over the Tampa Bay area. The décor and all the stuff built up, all that gets donated to local nonprofits so it can be repurposed and reused.”

Part of that is customized CFP recycle bins that will been seen around Raymond James Stadium on gameday.

Another part of the environmental effort is to salvage left over food from the events across town during the days leading up to the game. The food will be collected and distributed to local agencies.

“We will send our agency partners to pick it up,” said Jayci Peters with Feeding Tampa Bay. “So the fact this is a week long initiative and it’ll wrap up next Monday, it’s just going to be a really big week for the Food Bank. I know for the National Championship game coming into town, it’s a big deal and hunger is a big issue in our community.”

Read the full story here.

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