Officials at State Farm Arena and Rubicon made sure Super Bowl LIII was not a big waste.
Rubicon, an Atlanta-based waste management and recycling company, said it diverted nearly 12 tons of waste destined for landfills during five large, and lucrative, events at the arena during the week of Jan. 28.
Through the week, more than 50,000 people passed through the State Farm Arena turnstiles — which included the Bud Light Music Fest and the Super Bowl LIII Opening Night. Temporary construction in the arena included loads of mixed metals, wood, paper and old corrugated cardboard (OCC).
Rubicon said its construction and demolition team partnered with Waste Eliminator, a Metro-Atlanta roll off container service provider, to develop a sustainability plan that included a series of “specified containers to divert specific materials during the tear-down process and implement a recycling stream solution.”
In all, 15 pick-ups of 30-yard open top containers resulted in 2.07 tons of metal, 6.26 tons of wood, and 3.46 tons of paper and OCC diverted to recycling streams, Rubicon said.
Stacked end-to-end, the 15 containers would stretch more than the length of a football field.
“As with all recycling challenges – and construction and demolition is no different – making the recycling process easier is critical for success,” said Marc Spiegel, co-founder of Rubicon and head of the company’s Construction and Demolition offering, in a news release. “The impact that trash has on the environment, our communities and on our planet is harmful today, but will be magnified in the long term if we don’t shift our mindsets away from landfills.”
This isn’t the first major partnership among the companies. Last April, Rubicon worked with the Arena during a construction and demolition phase, removing 12,500 seats from the arena as part of its $192.5 million makeover. That project resulted in the identification of 64 tons of recyclable material.
“State Farm Arena is always conscious of our waste streams being part of a sustainability model in every possible way,” said Geoff Stiles, vice president of facilities and building operations for State Farm Arena. “We’ve been excited by the creative thinking, strategic planning and smart sustainability solutions that Rubicon has proposed to us, and we thank them for their help on this latest project.”
The emphasis on large-scale recycling is not limited to Atlanta’s sports world. Atlanta Business Chronicle reported last May how the problem of waste from discarded movie sets has created a cottage industry of recycling businesses tailored specifically to the film industry.