​Ohio State named Big Ten Diversion Rate Champion for 6th straight season

Ohio State tops Big Ten Conference in Game Day Recycling Challenge

By: Dan Hedman

Published on January 24, 2018

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State University was named Big Ten Conference champion in the annual 2017 Game Day Recycling Challenge. Ohio State earned the title after achieving the highest diversion rate for a single home football game during the 2017 season.

The Game Day Recycling Challenge is a national competition among colleges and universities to promote waste reduction and sustainability at home football games.

Ohio State achieved a 94.2 percent diversion rate in its game against the University of Maryland on October 7, which was the highest single-game percentage of waste diverted from the landfill in the Big Ten.

“We are proud that the efforts of our zero waste team continue to deliver positive results,” said Tony Gillund, sustainability manager for Ohio State’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD). “Sustainability is a focus campus-wide as we work toward our university goals, including achieving zero waste on campus by 2025.”

The goal of achieving zero waste also supports the university’s Strategic Plan, which aims for operational excellence and resource stewardship.

Ohio Stadium has strived to be zero waste since 2011 – defined as diverting 90 percent or more of disposed materials away from the landfill by recycling, repurposing and composting. This season, the Buckeyes narrowly missed the overall season goal but averaged an impressive 88.6 percent diversion rate.

Ohio Stadium produced more than 92 tons of recycling and compost materials during 2017 football games, with 12.55 tons of trash sent to landfills. Each game produced an average of more than one ton of pre-consumer food scraps and more than one ton of aluminum was collected for recycling.

Ohio State’s diversion efforts have also extended outside the stadium, with a renewed focus on diverting waste from tailgate lots. For additional information about Ohio State’s zero waste and sustainability efforts, please visit:

Recent university sustainability accomplishments and continuing efforts include:

  • In 2017, FOD received the APPA (Association of Physical Plant Administrators) Sustainability Award for recycling and zero waste initiatives, green building guidelines, energy conservation projects and more.
  • Ohio State initiated a public-private partnership to modernize the university’s 485-building Columbus campus, create substantial academic benefits and establish a major center for energy research and technology commercialization. ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure (ENGIE-Axium) formed a new consortium, Ohio State Energy Partners, to combine their expertise for this project with the largest single investment in Ohio State’s academic mission.
  • In 2017, Ohio State's campuses at Lima, Mansfield, Marion and Newark all received a Silver rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating Systems (STARS) program from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for the second consecutive rating period. STARS helps to assess Ohio State's focus on sustainability from a comprehensive view, validate our progress and identify future goals.
  • In 2016, Ohio State’s Columbus campus received a Gold rating in the STARS program from the AASHE achieving a perfect score in campus engagement and sustainability planning and governance, as well as for innovation efforts.

For more information of the Game Day Recycling Challenge, please visit: http://gamedaychallenge.org.


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Dan Hedman
614-292-7672 | Email

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