State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, diverted nearly 12 tons of waste from landfills during the week of January 28; the stadium, home to NBA’s Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, hosted more than 50,000 press and invited guests for five events during the week leading up to the Super Bowl on February 3.

The festivities, which included Super Bowl Opening Night – a combination press conference and fan celebration – called for the construction of temporary booths and meeting spaces. The stadium partnered with waste and recycling solutions provider Rubicon to develop a sustainability plan for the week.

The plan included working with roll-off container company Waste Eliminator to provide containers to divert specific materials during the tear-down process and implement a recycling stream solution. Waste Eliminator utilizes its own material recovery systems in order to recycle and reuse every item that goes in its dumpsters, the company says.

Rubicon also provided training, signage and education for State Farm Arena’s temporary and full-time employees to ensure proper diversion techniques and eliminate cross-contamination. In all, 15 pick-ups of 30-yard open top containers by Rubicon and Waste Eliminator resulted in 2.07 tons of metal, 6.26 tons of wood, and 3.46 tons of paper and OCC diverted to recycling streams, the organizations say.

Rubicon also worked with State Farm Arena in 2018 during its construction and demolition phase, with the removal of 12,500 seats from the arena as part of a refurbishment project. That project resulted in 64 tons of recyclable material being identified.

Sporting venues – whether new or existing – are increasingly striving toward sustainability. Sports leagues on both the professional and college level are adopting water conservation efforts, energy reduction initiatives, recycling programs, food reduction efforts, and more, and many have announced zero-waste goals.