When fans come to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, they’re pushing for more than a victory from the USC Trojans. They’re also part of a sustainability effort that has helped push the stadium past the “zero waste” goal line. For a stadium with a capacity of more than 75,000, that’s no small feat. Our venue now ranks as one of the most sustainable stadiums in the country. See how the stats stack up.
What is Zero Waste?
It’s when 90 percent or more of waste materials are diverted from landfills through recycling or composting. (Why not 100 percent? Because some fans bring their own non-compostable products.)
That’s how many custodial and sustainability staff assist with zero-waste goals at the Coliseum during games.
It takes two full days to process waste from a game – except on weekends when the stadium hosts back-to-back events. Then there’s as little as eight hours to clean up and divert materials.
During the 2019 football season, the Coliseum’s zero waste program successfully achieved zero waste status (90%+ diversion rate) on 11 of 14 football game days. Of the 264 tons of waste generated in the stadium during the 2019 season, approximately 241 tons were recovered through recycling and composting practices. A total of 112 tons of compost has been recovered, and 128 tons of material has been recycled, compared to just 24 tons of waste sent to the landfill.
In 2021, the Coliseum’s zero waste program diverted 64.25 tons from USC home football games alone.
We’re #1 (and #2)
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is the largest stadium in the Pac-12 and second-largest college stadium to achieve zero waste.
Our Zero Waste Initiative partners include ABM our janitorial partner, Republic Services our waste hauler, Recycling Pays our recycle hauler and Legends Hospitality, the stadium’s concessionaire, along with BASF, EcoSafe Zero Waste, USC Office of Sustainability and Waxie Sanitary Supply Co. Together, we have accelerated stadium greening.
Sustainability in Education, Research, and Operations
President Carol Folt has positioned USC as a leader in sustainable practices and has made sustainability a core part of its curriculum, fostering global citizens who will fight climate change.
Teams from across the university have established a vision, aspirations and goals for USC across five domains: Education, Research, Equity and Inclusion, Operations, and Engagement. Assignment: Earth formalizes our commitment to addressing climate change and creating a more sustainable future. It will guide our actions through 2028 and beyond and enable us to adapt to innovations and new solutions as they emerge.
As part of that effort, the Coliseum and our partners have executed a “first of it’s kind” cross-campus beverage pouring agreement and sponsorship that incorporated USC’s sustainability goals and priorities, including the elimination of single-use plastic beverage bottles.
USC Athletics has become the 5th US university to sign on to the UNFCCC’s Sports For Climate Action Framework Agreement.
2022 Green Sports Alliance Net Zero Waste Champion
2021 Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge Champion
2020 ENR California Best Renovation/Restoration Project
2019 Pac-12 Zero Waste Challenge – Overall Winner, Co-Champion
2019 Green Sport Alliance Environmental Innovator of the Year
2018 CRRA Outstanding Practices in Venue/Event Resource Recovery Award
2018 National Designation as a World War I Centennial Memorial
2017 NECA Los Angeles Electrical Excellence Award (Field Lighting)
2017 Pac-12 Zero Waste Bowl Champion
2016 Pac-12 Zero Waste Bowl Champion
2015 Pac-12 Zero Waste Bowl Most Improved
1984 Official Designation as a National and State Historic Landmark
1968 Re-Dedicated as a World War I Memorial