After dumping all waste into a landfill just a few years ago, officials at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum are celebrating the stadium’s full conversion to a “zero waste” model, where more than 90 percent of its refuse is recycled, composted or repurposed.Before the 2013 season, the stadium didn’t even have recycling bins, but after announcing the zero waste goal at the start of the 2015 USC football season, the stadium first met the standard after the USC football game on Nov. 26 and the Los Angeles Rams game on Dec. 12.
When the Rams close out the season on Sunday, the stadium officials believe they will meet the goal again and for every major event at the venue going forward.
“It’s been a goal we have been working on, but this is our standard process going forward,” Halli Bovia, manager of the USC Sustainability Program, told City News Service.
The 90 percent figure is considered the standard in order to accomplish a zero waste designation when accounting for variables suh as fans bringing non- compostable products, according to USC.
The Coliseum — jointly owned by the city, county and state — is managed by USC under a 99-year lease approved in 2014. Only a handful of NFL and college stadiums have met the goal, and the Coliseum is now the largest NFL stadium and second-largest college stadium to do so, USC said.
“We’re proud to be a part of a program such as the Zero Waste Initiative at the Coliseum. This is an opportunity for USC athletics and our fans to lead the way in terms of taking ownership of our environmental impact on game days,” said USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann. “Our university, fans and alumni should be proud of the success of this program.”
USC said the stadium has diverted over 400,000 pounds of waste from over 1.2 million stadium guests this season, enough to fill nine 53-foot tractor trailers, or the equivalent of the annual waste generated by 250 Californians.
“The success of this program is another huge accomplishment for the Coliseum and its program sponsors who played a part in making this possible,” Coliseum General Manager Joe Furin said.
USC first announced its intention to meet the goal at the beginning before the 2015 USC season, but adding the Rams — who temporarily relocated to the Coliseum this season — to the venue was an extra challenge, the university said.
“A large part of making our communities a better place includes making as little an impact on the environment as possible,” said Molly Higgins, Los Angeles Rams vice president of community affairs and engagement. “We are pleased to work with USC, the Coliseum and our fans to make Rams games zero waste, which is good for all of Los Angeles now and into the future.”
— City News Service
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