Written by Kate Patterson, ESLLC 2017-2018
Sporting events have a very wasteful reputation. Fans come from all over, ordering drinks and food all served in landfill destined containers. By the end of games trash cans are overflowing with waste. Everything from plastic, food, cans, and wrappers are all placed into one pin or thrown on the ground to be thrown away later. In reality most of this waste does not need to end up in the landfills. Whether it’s lack of caring or lack of proper waste bins, most of the waste is not properly sorted at sporting events. Many major sporting complexes have limited recycling bins scattered across the stadiums, out of the way for spectators, and almost none have compost bins.
This was not the case on February 4, 2018. As 60,000 Eagle and Patriot fans crowed their way into that stadium they encountered a team of workers determined to make this years Super Bowl more sustainable. Rush2Recycle teamed up with the NFL the US bank stadium to promote sustainable habits for disposing of waste. Not only did the NFL provided information at the game but they also provided tips to make parties of viewers watching at home “greener than ever!” They suggested using compostable cutlery, and suppling bins for recycling and compost.
Rush2Recycle has not yet released how successful the Super Bowl was but they estimated that they were going to be able to divert 90% of the stadiums waste away from landfills. That potentially could be over 40 tons of waste! The NFL plans to continue leading the way in decreasing the impact that large sporting events have on the environment. They are encouraging all stadiums to get tri-bin waste collect systems with proper instructions on what goes in each bin. Hopefully other sports will follow their lead and start cutting down on the landfill destined waste they produce each game. Super Bowl LII will hopefully mark the beginning of sustainable practices in major sporting event across the country!
To research more about Rush2Recycle and how the NFL is moving toward zero-waste visit https://www.rush2recycle.com/.