UPDATE: Super Bowl Scores One for Recycling

SAN DIEGO - A series of environmental projects integrated into Super Bowl XXXII events resulted in cost savings of $18,876 and provided a variety of benefits to San Diego, this year's Super Bowl host community.

"Over the last six years, many of the environmental initiatives we've set up at NFL-sponsored Super Bowl events have become permanent programs in host cities," says Jim Steeg, NFL Vice President of Special Events.

In San Diego, the three major projects included solid waste management at NFL-sponsored events, a community-wide prepared food recovery and distribution program and a unique "litter-free" campaign at the NFL Experience Football Theme Park, the largest single public event run in conjunction with the Super Bowl.

"Thanks to all the local individuals and agencies who participated, our recycling effort was the best it has ever been," says Ed Augustine, director of the NFL's Environmental Program. "By aggressively recycling and donating excess food, we were able to cut the waste stream dramatically, diverting nearly half of the material that would have ended up in local landfills."

The cost savings are based on the waste hauling and tipping fees that were avoided by recycling as well as on the rebates offered by local recyclers in return for the plastic, cardboard and aluminum that was collected.

The litter-free campaign was staffed by volunteers from the San Diego Zoo who greeted attendees at the NFL Experience. Each attendee was reminded that the event was litter-free and then offered a souvenir NFL sticker as a reminder.

Based on the number of stickers distributed, there were approximately 100,000 one-on-one, face-to-face contacts between volunteers and attendees. Such personal contact has been shown to reduce the amount of litter substantially at public events and, thus, saves in clean-up costs.

For more information on the NFL Environmental Program, which is in its sixth year, contact Jack Groh at (401) 732-1551.