12.18.2013

Recycling in the Red Zone - the E-waste Ball is in Your Hands!

Guest contributor: Jack Groh, Director of the National Football League Environmental Program

NFL Reduce Reuse Recycle

I promise not to use a lot of football terminology in this blog (until the very end, so be prepared.)

It seems as if Super Bowl’s environmental efforts have come full circle in 20 years.  In 1993, the NFL began a small pilot recycling project at the Georgia Dome, site of Super Bowl XXVIII (that’s Super Bowl 28 for you non-Romans).  Now we are starting all over again, but this time we are going after electronic-waste (e-waste), which is something that presents a new set of challenges over the cans and bottles we started recycling two decades ago.

Why focus on e-waste? Well, the answer is simple. For the first time, an NFL sponsor, Verizon, has joined the league in supporting sustainability projects around the events and activities of the Super Bowl.

E-waste is something that Verizon knows about - and knows how to handle - so it seemed like a logical step to join them in this effort.  Next on board was the Broadway Green Alliance who brought their own experience in running this type of event and, once they joined, we had the perfect partnership.

January 7th in Fairlawn, NJ and January 8 in Duffy Square (just North of Times Square, NY) are the dates and locations of our two e-waste recycling events.  These recycling rallies join many other Super Bowl events and projects that aim to not only mitigate the environmental impact of events and activities, but also leave a positive legacy in the host communities.

With Verizon’s support, we’ve already planted 27,000 trees throughout New York and New Jersey.

NFL Tree Planting 1 NFL Tree Planting 2

We will also be collecting used books and sports equipment for children in need, collecting used cell phones for emergency shelter use and collecting prepared food from all Super Bowl events.

NFL Book Drive 1 NFL Book Drive 2

We are using biodiesel to run generators at major events and also partnering with PSEG to provide renewable energy certificates (RECs) to cover the electricity used at all the major NFL event facilities connected to Super Bowl.

NFL PSEG Solar Panels

But we could not do any of this alone.  It takes a dedicated host committee, a forward-thinking corporate sponsor, a talented community environmental organization and lots of local E-waste donors to make this happen. 

Warning: Football lingo ahead. …. So get ready, we are in the red zone now, it is fourth and goal and the (e-waste) ball is in your hands! See you at the “e-waste Bowl.”