A lot of waste is created at large sporting events — about 40 tons of waste was created during a typical football game at U.S. Bank Stadium. The NFL and its partners focused on tackling the problem of waste during the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Feb 4. The aim was to recycle and compost 90 percent of waste generated during the game and send zero waste to landfills.
Made big changes for the big game
Just a year ago, only 20 percent of the waste created during games at U.S. Bank Stadium was getting recycled, so it took a lot of work for the big game. Some changes made at the stadium in the past year included having vendors switch to all compostable containers, adding labeled recycling, organics and trash bins, and finding donation opportunities for materials like leftover food and purses that fans aren’t allowed to bring inside.
To ensure the Super Bowl zero waste effort was successful, extra staff was positioned throughout the stadium to help fans sort their waste into the correct bins; additional sorting of waste happened on the backend before materials were shipped to recycling and waste management facilities; leftover décor and construction materials were donated to local organizations; and meals that weren’t served were sent to local shelters and food banks.
Hennepin County is contributing to the zero waste efforts
Hennepin County staff and facilities helped to make the effort a success. Some of the organics and recycling collected during the Super Bowl were delivered to Hennepin County’s transfer station in Brooklyn Park, and the leftover trash was burned to create energy at the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center in downtown Minneapolis, which enabled the NFL to avoid landfilling waste.
Hennepin County staff was a part of a waste work group for the Super Bowl Host Committee and provided signage to help fans and staff sort waste at Super Bowl Live. Hennepin County Master Recycler/Composter volunteers helped visitors during Super Bowl Live events sort their waste into the right bins, while others helped to deliver extra food from Super Bowl events to local hunger relief agencies.
Learn more and do your part.
—Information provided by Hennepin County Green Notes