With the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium quickly approaching, NFL Environmental Program Director Jack Groh told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the NFL donates products after the Super Bowl so they do not end up in landfills.
“We started 20 years ago looking at the environmental impact of our events and beginning to find ways to address them. 1993 was when we began and the Super Bowl of 1994 was the first time we put one of these programs into practice,” Groh said.
The NFL pays for the cost of power at the Super Bowl and PSE&G covers the additional cost to shift from standard energy in the grid to renewable energy through the use of renewable energy certificates, Groh said.
Groh explained that renewable energy certificates can be used when a renewable energy plant generates electricity that goes in the grid and results in a reduction in green house gas. The certificates can be purchased, but once they are purchased and applied, they expire, he said.
According to Groh, MetLife Stadium is tremendous in areas such as waste prevention, water conservation and energy conservation, so they are likely to use less power than past Super Bowls because of the efficiency of the stadium.
“It’s not just the stadium. It is the stadium, team hotels, headquarters hotel and the Super Bowl Boulevard event in New York. PSE&G is doing all of these, so they are not just doing the Super Bowl game. They are doing pretty much all of Super Bowl,” Groh said.
Groh said food that does not leave the kitchens and can be recovered in a timely fashion can be donated to soup kitchens, shelters, churches and organizations. This year the Super Bowl is working with Rock and Wrap It Up, an organization that delivers untouched food to places that need it instead of it being thrown out.
The NFL has miles of fabric used for Super Bowl decor and it is looking for non-profit organizations in the New Jersey and New York areas that could use it and re-purpose it so that it does not go to a landfill, Groh said. He said that the NFL does not charge for the fabric and they do not ask for anything in return from those they donate to.
“It is a lot of stuff, with a lot of value, and we would love to see it re-purposed so it doesn’t go to a landfill,” Groh said.