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Phoenix Achieves Zero Waste Goal for Downtown Super Bowl Events 

By on February 28, 2023 0 179Views

The City of Phoenix Public Works Department reached its goal of diverting at least 92% of waste from Super Bowl events away from the landfill. After final sorting and weighing, the 2023 Super Bowl events hosted in downtown Phoenix surpassed a previous Super Bowl’s diversion rate of 91% to become the greenest Super Bowl in history. The final diversion rate of city-collected trash from downtown Super Bowl events was 92.6%, qualifying it as a zero-waste event.

We see this as a huge, historic win,” said Lorizelda Stoeller, Deputy Public Works Director and Chair of the Super Bowl Steering Committee Green Initiatives group. “This took a lot of planning ahead of time to educate the public on separating trash from recyclables. 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.”

Ultimately, 81 tons of material were recycled from this year’s events. With help from Downtown Phoenix, Inc., Keep Phoenix Beautiful, and Volunteer PHX, Phoenix had 51 volunteers serving as Zero Waste Ambassadors, who guided visitors to put trash, recyclables, and food waste into separate receptacles throughout the downtown area.

The last time Arizona hosted the Super Bowl in 2015, Phoenix set a goal to divert 80% of waste from the landfill. In the end, the final diversion rate achieved that year was 73%.  Since then, however, the City of Phoenix has added more robust resources and technology at the Compost Facility​. Public Works was able to process nearly 12 tons of food waste from the 2023 Super Bowl Experience – more than 11% of everything that was thrown away.

We couldn’t have reached our goal without the new machinery that separates food packaging from food waste,” said Deputy Public Works Director Eduardo Rodriguez. “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.”

The final diversion numbers show this was the greenest Super Bowl in history. During the week of Super Bowl events, Public Works employees also continued regular collection of residential waste, recycling, and bulk trash and even received and processed waste from Scottsdale during the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“This is one more example of how Phoenix has set the bar high for all Super Bowls to come,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Reaching Zero Waste for an event of this size is an incredible win that demonstrates our City’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Thank you to our Public Works team, volunteers, and visitors who contributed to this effort of reducing waste and creating a greener future.”