The next time you attend a world class event at the Rose Bowl Stadium, take time to notice the high school and college students dressed in green tee-shirts assisting the patrons in sorting the events waste. The students are a part of the Rose Bowl Stadium’s efforts to recover waste generated during football, soccer and concert events. As a way to educate and inform event patrons on sustainability and proper waste disposal, the Rose Bowl Stadium in 2017 partnered with Ideal Youth internship and job training program to create the “Green Team”, comprised of local high school and college students interested in the field of environmental studies. During stadium events, the students are also behind the scenes actively assisting in administering waste sorting and data collection process ensuring the organic materials are sustainably managed.
The Rose Bowl Stadium commitment to local youth education prompted them to reach out to Ideal Youth as a way to provide local students with hands on experience in the areas of environmental science, recycling and sustainability, in addition to transferable work skills such as customer service, team building and effective communication.
In October 2014 Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1826 requiring businesses that generate a specified amount of organic waste per week to arrange for recycling services for that waste. Organic waste includes: food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed with food waste. This law also requires local jurisdictions across the state implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste generated by businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units.
The Ideal Youth Green Team students are very proud to impact the Rose Bowl stadiums ‘Help Us Out, Sort It Out’ campaign, part of the Rose Bowls sustainability program and compliance with AB 1826. George Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer of the Rose Bowl Stadium recently invited all Green Team students who worked with the campaign to the Rose Bowl Press Box to debrief and celebrate their accomplishments. Mr. Cunningham informed those in attendance that the partnership with Ideal Youth substantially reduced the Rose Bowls carbon footprint, “With your help we have diverted over 67 tons of compost food for the season, where prior to that we were in the 30’s. So you are having a major effect on what we’re doing here.” Mr. Cunningham continued, “We alone at the Rose Bowl Stadium are making the City of Pasadena compliant in the AB1826 organic waste law in California. So your efforts here alone in the stadium are making the 150,000 residents in Pasadena compliant with AB1826, that’s major.”
Many students informed Mr. Cunningham about the impact the program has made and their plans to pursue careers in environmental studies due to their involvement. Ideal Youth’s Romone Abrams says, “I’m planning on designing a lead certified building for my campus at John Muir High School with a focus on reusing the compost from so much trash around campus and water, since we drain our pool very often, so it will be powering that building and just trying to get it started with lead certified buildings in Pasadena.”
Over the course of the 2017 and 2018 event season, approximately 130 students from Pasadena participated in 34 work based learning opportunities at the stadium.
Ideal Youth is a 501 C3 organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy through interactive, hands-on advanced job training and career work based learning opportunities. To learn more visit www.idealyouth.org.