Zero Waste Stadium

Ohio Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the country to continuously achieve zero waste status by diverting 90% or more of materials from the landfill.

With thousands of fans filling the stands to cheer on the Buckeyes every home football Saturday, opportunities for waste diversion are everywhere. During the 2019 football season and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Stadium produced 122 tons of recycling and compost materials, with more than 15 tons of trash sent to landfills. Each game produced an average of 15.5 tons of pre-consumer food scraps and more than one ton of aluminum was collected for recycling.

Waste diversion efforts at Ohio Stadium are supported through the work of multiple groups, including Faciliites Operations and Development (FOD) and Athletics, Ohio State student organizations, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), I Am Change Outreach high school students, Levy and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

High school students in the I Am Change Outreach non-profit mentorship program volunteer as zero waste educators to teach fans about proper disposal and also correct any cross-contamination at their zero waste stations inside the stadium. Ohio State student organizations also have the opportunity to adopt-a-game to provide zero waste education on football Saturdays.

Immediately after the game, leftover pre-consumer food from the concession stand, suites and kitchens is brought to the food concessionaire’s warehouse, where the food is evaluated for either donation or composting. The rest of the pre-consumer food scraps are sent to Price Farms Organics, where the scraps are mixed and covered with coffee grounds and manure. The day after the game, the Ohio State NROTC program sorts the materials left in the stands, while stadium operations staff separates the compost and recycling bags for transportation to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections’ London processing facilities.

Whether you’re watching the game in person or at home, Buckeyes fan can do their part by diverting waste properly. Inside the stadium, watch for zero waste stations to discard items and talk to volunteers if you have questions. At home, do your part to recycle right.

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