Back in October, GreenSportsBlog’s Elyssa Emrich detailed the work Ohio State has done to move towards a Zero-Waste home football season. As Elyssa’s post was written in the middle of the season, full season stats were not available. Well, the results are in–and they are impressive: At 6 of the 7 Ohio State home games, composting and recycling efforts led to diversion-from-landfill rates of 96.5% or better. The season finale vs. Indiana saw an incredible 98.1% diversion rate. Since a 90% diversion rate constitutes Zero-Waste, per standards set by Zero Waste International, Ohio State is well on its way to being a season-long Zero-Waste operation. With home game attendance averaging north of 104,000, that’s certainly impressive.
Ohio State football had an impressive 2013: 12-1 on the field and great Zero-Waste statistics for home games at the Horseshoe
The only reason Ohio State can’t say they were Zero-Waste for 2013 was the Iowa game on October 19. That day, diversion rates dropped to 56%. Composting continued as usual but recycling dropped precipitously because all materials were not able to be captured and sent to the recycling facility for recovery due to the Columbus Marathon, taking place that same weekend. Otherwise, there’s no doubt that diversion rates would’ve been in the 96-98% range, assuring a Zero-Waste season at the Horseshoe.
Next season, the Buckeyes will again be home during Columbus Marathon weekend (I should be there as their opponents will be my alma mater, Rutgers!).
Perhaps Ohio State, their recyclers and the City of Columbus will figure out a work-around so recycling rates can go back up to the normal range. That way, after Rutgers shocks Ohio State, Buckeyes fans will be able to take solace in their Zero-Waste season.