The next time you attend an event at the Coliseum—particularly Rams and USC football games—there will be a new waste and recycling protocol at the venerable sports venue.

In preparation for hosting two teams at the stadium, the USC Office of Sustainability has joined with its solid waste and recycling partner, Los Angeles-based Athens Services, as well as Councilman Curren Price (Ninth District) to expand an innovative Zero Waste Program. It sounds simple. The recycling coalition will be changing things like pizza boxes, hot dog and burger wrappers, cutlery, cups, napkins etc. so that all products are recyclable. If you toss uneaten food in the trash or accidentally spill it, most of it will be composted. Also, a new state-of-the-art recycling infrastructure, complete with “low NOx” (nitrogen, oxygen, hydrocarbons) trucks to transport waste, is being put into place at the Coliseum which is undergoing its latest refurbishment project timed for the beginning of the college and professional football seasons.

“This is a model for all stadiums across the country,” Price said. “The city needs more responsible business leaders that invest in sustainable measures and technologies, operate as good neighbors and share our vision of protecting the environment. It gives me great pleasure to see USC and Athens Services develop strategies that are aligned with the city’s vision and which address current and future climate change impacts.”

The university’s Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 to implement sustainable practices on campus while developing innovative outreach and educational programs for the campus and surrounding community. A special steering committee, comprised of students, faculty and staff, work together on various sustainability strategies.

“This is a critical first step for the Coliseum,” said Brian Grant, director of operations for the Coliseum. “We will learn a lot through this process, but we are striving to merge the history the facility has with progressive sustainability efforts. Making the Coliseum ‘zero waste’ is our goal.”