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, February 4, 2018. After months of preparation to eradicate trash materials from U.S. Bank Stadium, this recovery gameday goal will maximize recycling and composting.
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 aims to 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 former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver 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.
“The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is proud of the hard work and dedication put forth by all stadium partners to build a sustainable, zero-waste program for U.S. Bank Stadium. This dedication echoes the State of Minnesota’s commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and building an operation that is friendly to our environment,” said Michael Vekich, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, owner of U.S. Bank Stadium. “We’re excited to be working with the NFL and PepsiCo to officially kickoff our zero-waste initiative, an operational program that will leave a lasting impact on our facility for years to come.”
“Aramark takes great pride in championing innovations that positively impact the communities we serve while inspiring others to make a difference,” said Eric J. Foss, Chairman, President & CEO of Aramark. “As U.S. Bank Stadium’s food and beverage partner, we are excited to be at the forefront of collaborating with the NFL and its partners to implement our industry-leading waste minimization practices and create a sustainable game day environment that will also benefit Minneapolis far beyond Super Bowl LII.”
Leading up to Super Bowl LII, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the stadium’s operator SMG, and Aramark have worked to create and implement a robust set of waste initiatives aimed at reducing the overall amount of landfill waste. In addition to the partners listed above, Minnesota Vikings leadership teams, recycling officials from Hennepin County, executives from waste hauler Republic Services, and community outreach staff from the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee have provided support. Since June 2017, U.S. Bank Stadium partners have increased the stadium’s diversion rate by roughly 55%, reaching a high of 83% by January 2018.
In November 2017, the stadium received LEED: Building Design and Construction (BD+C) certification, Gold level.
For more than 25 years, the NFL has been the leader in sports event sustainability; creating the first significant stadium solid waste recycling project in America at Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta in 1994.