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``Zero Waste Coliseum'' at USC game

Posted September 9, 2015

Gulf California Broadcasting -


A campaign to reduce waste at USC football games will begin Saturday night as the Trojans open their season against Arkansas State at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The ``Zero Waste Coliseum'' campaign will transform the stadium's trash cans into compost bins with the goal of achieving ``zero waste'' status, according to Halli Bovia, the manager of the USC Sustainability Program.

Signs and social media will show fans which containers to use. Food vendors will use compostable trays, pizza boxes, cutlery, cups and napkins and food waste will be composted, Bovia said.

It takes about three to four weeks for the items to decompose, after which it is sold as premium compost to Central Valley farms, Bovia said.

``This is a critical first step for the Coliseum,'' said Brian Grant, the stadium's director of operations. ``We will learn a lot through this process, but we are striving to merge the history that the facility has with progressive sustainability efforts.''

Industry standards define zero waste as diverting 90 percent or more of waste materials from the landfill or incinerator through recycling, composting or re-purposing, Bovia said.

Fans are also encouraged to participate in the Tailgate Waste Diversion program, which seeks to increasing recycling and composting by making it easier for fans.

About 350 peer educators and volunteers help fans recycle by collecting aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles. Fans and volunteers recycled nearly five tons of materials last season, Bovia said.

USC's 10-year commitment made in 2013 to spend $70 million to renovate the Coliseum has resulted in this season's boosting WiFi in various concourse locations, including at the student entrance at Gate 28, and upgrading concession food items, including wood-fired pizza and smoked brisket sandwiches.  

There are also two additional Coliseum Clubs for Trojan Athletic Fund members. The clubs are located along the Coliseum's outside fence line and feature live televised sports and upscale food and beverages.

For the first time, fans will be able to purchase and redeem tickets from their smartphones.

Fans can visit to sign up to receive a text message notification when tickets become available for each home game. Once notified, fans can select the desired section and purchase tickets directly from their smartphone.

A barcode and seat location will be sent to the mobile device and can be used to enter the Coliseum.

USC has won 17 consecutive season openers. Oddsmakers have made the Trojans a 27 1/2-28-point favorite. ESPN's Football Power Index gives USC a 94.7 percent chance of winning.