Phoenix reaches its ‘zero waste’ goal with Super Bowl event trash
Feb 27, 2023, 9:05 AM
(City of Phoenix Photo)
PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix scored a touchdown by reaching its “zero waste” goal of keeping almost all of the trash from Super Bowl XLVII events out of the landfill.
The city’s Public Works Department said Friday that 92.6% of waste from downtown events related to the Feb. 12 game in Glendale was diverted.
The department said its goal was 92%, in excess of the 90% threshold to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of a zero-waste event.
“We see this as a huge, historic win,” Lorizelda Stoeller, Public Works deputy director and chair of the Super Bowl Steering Committee Green Initiatives group, said in a press release Friday.
In all, the city recycled 81 tons of material from this year’s Super Bowl events.
“This took a lot of planning ahead of time to educate the public on separating trash from recyclables,” Stoeller said. “It also took a lot of hard work from staff, volunteers and contractors who helped sort through collected garbage to ensure we weren’t landfilling any plastics or other materials that could instead be recycled.”
Fifty-one volunteers who served as Zero Waste Ambassadors helped the cause by guiding visitors to put trash, recyclables and food waste into the proper bins.
“This is one more example of how Phoenix has set the bar high for all Super Bowls to come,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in the release. “Reaching zero waste for an event of this size is an incredible win that demonstrates our city’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”
The performance was a big improvement from the last Valley Super Bowl in 2015, when Phoenix diverted 73% of waste from the landfill, falling short of its goal of 80%.
“We couldn’t have reached our goal without the new machinery that separates food packaging from food waste,” Deputy Public Works Director Eduardo Rodriguez said in the release. “Because of it, we were able to keep all that organic material out of the landfill. Soon it will become clean compost that will help beautify parks and other areas across the city.”