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EPA Celebrates Successful Food Recycling Efforts by National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins and N.J. Devils

Release Date: 11/15/2011
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027


Today is “America Recycles Day” - dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 15, 2011) – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) teamed up with the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, the New Jersey Devils and the National Hockey League (NHL) to highlight important work being done across the NHL to enact effective programs to divert tons of material from landfills.  In addition to working to reduce typical types of materials – cardboard, paper, plastics, glass and aluminum – a program championed by the Bruins to donate prepared but unused, safe edible food to the Boston Rescue Mission is helping to feed in-need people while also accomplishing an important environmental service.

A key partner in this effort, Rock and Wrap It Up!, was also on hand to be congratulated by EPA for their great efforts helping NHL teams across the country to recycle over 105 tons of prepared but untouched food, keeping that food out of landfills and feeding over 163,000 meals to the hungry across North America.

Nearly 35 million tons of food waste is generated each year in the U.S., which represents the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching landfills and incinerators. Much of this food “waste” is not waste at all but actually safe, wholesome food that could potentially feed millions of Americans.  Food donations redirect these valuable resources to “feed people – not landfills.”  Food donation is a simple practice, with little or no program start-up cost, that provides needed food to hungry people.

“Just as all of us in Boston celebrated our Bruins winning the Stanley Cup last June, EPA also applauds the great work being done by the Bruins, the Devils and across the NHL along with Rock and Wrap It Up! to keep edible food from filling up the nation’s landfills,” said Ira Leighton, deputy regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.  “Donating untouched and completely edible food to shelters not only does a great public service to people in need, it also provides a great environmental benefit.”

Food disposed in a landfill quickly rots and becomes a significant source of methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  Landfills and the food waste in them account for more than 20 percent of all methane emissions in the U.S. As a result, diversion of food waste from landfills can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Conversely, composting food waste that is no longer safe for consumption reduces waste by converting food scraps and other organic materials into a medium to grow plants.  Composting food scraps improves soil health and structure, increases drought resistance and minimizes the need for supplemental water, fertilizers and pesticides.

"The NHL accepts this award from the EPA on behalf of Commissioner Gary Bettman, the NHL Board of Governors and all thirty NHL Member Clubs across North America.  The NHL Food Recovery Program could not be possible without the extraordinary efforts of RWU, partnering concessionaires and the local shelters who pick up and distribute the food to needy families throughout their community,” said Bernadette Mansur, Executive Vice President, NHL Foundation.

During the championship 2010-2011 NHL season, the Boston Bruins recovered and donated 3,796 meals to the Boston Rescue Mission. This equals about 4,935 pounds of food that (more than 2 tons of food that would have been thrown out)

"The Jacobs Family and the Boston Bruins are extremely proud of the work that we have done with Rock and Wrap it Up! and the Boston Rescue Mission,” said   Bob Sweeney, Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation We would like to thank the EPA for recognizing, not only our efforts, but the efforts of all 30 NHL clubs.  Today, on America Recycles Day, we are all reminded of responsibility that we have to our environment and we are proud to be contributing to these efforts."

From October, 2010 to April, 2011, the New Jersey Devils have recovered and donated over 9,550 pounds of food, translating to roughly 7,346 meals. Preventing 9,550 pounds of food from going into landfills translates into preventing emission of 8,818 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent, which over the four seasons the Devils have worked with Rock and Wrap it Up!, is equivalent to nearly a day of greenhouse gases emitted on the New Jersey Turnpike.

"Rock and Wrap it Up! is such an important program, especially in this challenging economic time.  To provide hundreds of thousands of meals to those who can use a little extra help while also making sure our air and water quality are improved makes the entire New Jersey Devils organization proud to be part of the effort," said Jeff Vanderbeek, New Jersey Devils Chairman and Managing Partner.

"The Rock and Wrap it Up! Sports Wrap! Program is a signature greening strategy developed by Rock and Wrap It Up! an international anti-poverty think tank,” said Syd Mandelbaum, Founder and CEO. “Sports Wrap! works with 75 sports franchises throughout North America to recover food that is prepared but not served or sold at stadiums and arenas. We are blessed to have every team of the NHL on-board, recognizing the potential to feed millions through our program. Our goal is to continue to reduce the poverty footprint while reducing the carbon footprint."

“This program has consistently facilitated donations of food to the Boston Rescue Mission,” said Mike Way of the Boston Rescue Mission. “These donations have provided thousands of meals to the homeless population of Boston."

America Recycles Day is November 15. America Recycles Day is dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. Increasing the rate of recycling helps to save energy, prevent pollution, offsets use of resource-intensive virgin materials, reduces the need for disposing waste in landfills or with incineration, creates jobs and saves consumers money.

Celebrating its 12th year, America Recycles Day has grown to include millions of Americans pledging to increase their recycling habits at home and work and to buy products made with recycled materials. America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. This annual focus on recycling helps millions of people become better informed about the importance of daily recycling and buying recycled products.

More information:
EPA information on reducing food waste (
www.epa.gov/foodrecovery)

NHL efforts to increase recycling programs at sports venues (http://www.nhl.com/ice/eventhome.htm?location=/nhlgreen)

Rock It and Wrap It Up (http://www.rockandwrapitup.org/)

America Recycles Day (http://americarecyclesday.org/)

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