Greenest Superbowl ever?
Think of the Super Bowl and you think of excess: Big money, big parties, big crowds and an even bigger mess left behind when the circus leaves town.If they were really interested in a green Superbowl they would not be having it in New Jersey in the middle of the winter. They will have to burn more fuel and still be colder than ever for this game. It is bad for the players and the fans. If the weather effects the game, it will be for the worse.
Well, at least the messy part is getting smaller. Beginning in the 1990s, the National Football League has sought to gradually reduce the footprint left behind by the Big Game, and the league is taking steps to make the Feb. 2 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium the most environmentally friendly yet, from planting trees to offset carbon emissions to composting food waste to using biodiesel to power generators.
“We try and stay ahead of the curve,” said Jack Groh, a consultant who directs the NFL’s environmental programs. “We try and push the envelope every year.”
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Most of the attention focused on this year’s Super Bowl is, understandably, on the challenges of holding it outdoors in the Northeast for the first time. Another, less-celebrated first: MetLife Stadium will compost food waste on game day, the first time that’s happened at a Super Bowl.
It’s not new for the stadium. Dave Duernberger, MetLife Stadium’s vice president of facilities, said the stadium produced 195 tons of food waste for composting last year, up from 153 tons the year before. Duernberger expects about seven or eight tons to be generated during the Super Bowl, which will go into a giant compactor and then be trucked to a local facility for processing. The end product can be used for landscaping.
Another innovation is the use of biodiesel fuel processed from waste cooking oil. According to Groh, a biodiesel mix will be used in generators that will power Super Bowl Boulevard, the 13-block party on Broadway that will feature entertainment and a giant toboggan slide, as well as generators that are augmenting the power supply on the MetLife Stadium grounds.