USC will conduct its annual Zero Waste Game Saturday night when the Trojans football team faces Oregon State at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, competing with other Pac-12 Conference universities to divert waste from landfills to recycling or composting.
The game is part of the Pac-12's Zero Waste Challenge, a competition at a selected football and men's basketball game to determine which member university diverted the most waste from landfills, as well as which used the most innovative methods to expand the reach and impact of sustainability education efforts.
There will be a Zero Waste Sustainability booth at the Fan Fest outside the Coliseum, which will include family-oriented sustainability related games, Go Green information and giveaways, as well as the opportunity to take a photo with the USC mascot Traveler.
Besides sorting and depositing their tailgating waste into special color-coded recycling, composting and landfill containers outside and inside the Coliseum, USC also encouraged fans to take such conservation measures as purchasing tailgate food and beverages in bulk to reduce packaging waste and using reusable plates, cups and utensils instead of single-use plastics.
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“Zero waste” is defined as diverting 90% or more of waste materials from the landfill or incinerator, through recycling, composting or other repurposing.
Since beginning its Zero Waste program in 2012, the Coliseum has diverted more than 1,000 tons of waste from landfills. The Coliseum hand sorts every piece of game-day waste to ensure it ends up in the proper waste stream, according to USC.
USC Athletics is part of the United Nations Sports For Climate Action initiative, joining hundreds of professional teams and organizations in an attempt to help combat climate change and champion sustainability.
USC won the Pac-12 zero waste competition in football in 2017 and 2018.
Coinciding with the Zero Waste Game, injured Trojans quarterback Mo Hasan and several teammates on Sunday will deliver food left over from Saturday's game at the Coliseum to the homeless on Skid Row.
Hasan runs the nonprofit organization Second Spoon that regularly distributes extra food, usually from the student-athletes’ training table, to the homeless.