The Other Football Competition: Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium

While the teams battle it out on the field during the Ohio State/Michigan football game, Ohio State fans will be working toward another championship in the stands: Zero Waste Champions.

Zero waste refers to diverting 90 percent or more of disposed materials away from the landfill by recycling, repurposing and composting. For four years in a row, Ohio State has ranked first in the Big Ten Conference, setting a new standard for collegiate stadium recycling.

Ohio Stadium is the largest stadium in the country to continuously achieve zero waste status. Ohio State began its zero waste effort during football games in 2011, and since the 2013 football season, has achieved zero waste in Ohio Stadium by diverting on average more than 90 percent of the waste collected following football games.

Results for the 2016 football season have averaged 95 percent waste diversion for the six home games held so far. Nearly 80 tons of recycling and compost materials have been produced this season, with only four tons of trash being sent to landfills. On average, more than one ton of pre-consumer food scraps are sent to Price Farm Organics in Delaware, Ohio for composting following each game. And Ohio Stadium is seeing higher recycling numbers this year than in previous years; more than one ton of aluminum has been collected for recycling after each game. 

SEE: Ohio State's Zero Waste Process