State Farm Arena goes green

State Farm Arena received the highest level certification for diverting at least 90% of fan-generated waste through recycling, composting and reducing waste. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Hawks)

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State Farm Arena received the highest level certification for diverting at least 90% of fan-generated waste through recycling, composting and reducing waste. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Hawks)

More than a million pounds of waste diverted

State Farm Arena, home of the Atlanta Hawks, has cleaned up its act.

Through recycling, composting and working with vendors and local partners, the entertainment venue has reduced and diverted at least 90% of fan-generated waste from landfills since this time last year, according to a press release from the Hawks. That adds up to more than a million pounds.

It is the first such venue to receive a platinum-level Total Resource Use and Efficiency certification from the Green Building Certification Inc. It is a leading sustainability and health certification and credentialing body.

Before it started the process, the area diverted only 10% of its waste from landfills.

“By pursuing zero waste, State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks recognize the positive impacts of reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills, helping us build a sustainable future,” said Peter Templeton, the president of the agencies that awarded the certification, the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Building Certification Inc. “Waste impacts all facets of business and changing the way that we use resources will deliver public health benefits, reduce our environmental impact and advance a greener economy. Sports leagues and teams reach large audiences and have the power to expose everyday audiences to sustainability strategies like zero waste.”

Working with the Hawks and State Farm Arena are many local companies such as CompostNow and Haulin’ Glass Recycling, Levy Restaurants and aluminum production company Novelis and others.

“Accomplishing this was only possible with an entire team effort,” said Geoffrey Stiles, Hawks’ senior vice president of facilities and events for State Farm Arena. “When we began our zero waste journey, we knew that the vision would take buy-in from everybody — our fans, partners and staff — night after night and event after event to make this happen. We are incredibly grateful to share this monumental achievement with them.”

State Farm Arena, formerly Philips Arena, opened its doors in October 2018 following a $192 million renovation. It hosts nearly 200 events and nearly 2 million guests annually, according to the Hawks.

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