Major: Environmental Science, specializing in Water Science
Job: Sustainability Intern within Ohio State’s Zero Waste team
Melina Mallory spends about 10 hours each game day at Ohio Stadium, arriving before tailgaters and leaving after fans head home.
During that time, as part of Ohio State’s Zero Waste team, Mallory not only helps sort all the waste in and around Ohio Stadium, but she’s also educating as many fans as she can about proper recycling practices.
“To be able to go out on game day, reach out to fans and see their excitement for the Buckeyes translate to this effort is really rewarding,” said Mallory, a junior. “We’re changing behaviors, which is the root of the problem.”
Mallory and Ohio State’s Zero Waste team have made Ohio Stadium the largest stadium in the country to continuously divert 90 percent or more waste materials from landfills by recycling or composting. In 2018, the Zero Waste team averaged more than a 94 percent diversion rate per game, producing 110-plus tons of recycling and compositing materials with 6.95 tons of trash sent to landfills.
Ohio State has set a goal to be a zero waste campus by 2025.
“For an entire campus to do that would mean students and faculty have an awareness of their carbon footprint and the impact we’re having,” Mallory said.
A Los Angeles native, Mallory grew up in the middle of droughts and water scarcity, showing her firsthand why sustainability is critical. After graduating, she is considering focusing on urban sustainability or ecosystem restoration, working to reduce water scarcity.
“To be at Ohio State where you have a platform to show people this is what our world has to start doing, and we are doing it, is pretty cool."