MINNEAPOLIS, MN — 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 percent 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,” said Patrick Talty, SMG General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Ahead of gameday, PepsiCo launched the Rush2Recycle campaign to show fans how to make recycling fun and easy in the stadium and at in-home Super Bowl parties across the country. Fans attending the Super Bowl were greeted by a team of uniformed zero-waste ambassadors who helped identify the correct bins for recycling, composting and waste-to-energy. Super Bowl XL MVP and Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Hines Ward helped lucky fans recycle with his own end zone dance, the Rush2Recyle Shuffle.