ATLANTA – This past weekend, State Farm Arena and Rubicon delivered the first-ever zero-waste NBA All-Star Game. The 2021 All-Star Game marked the 70th event and, for the first time ever, held four events in a single day. As a common practice across the industry, if an event has more than 90-percent overall diversion from a landfill and materials are reduced, reused, recycled, composted and/or recovered for productive use in nature or the economy, the event is considered “zero waste.” During the event, the Hawks and State Farm Arena successfully diverted 97 percent of fan-generated waste with the help of Rubicon, a software platform that provides waste, recycling and smart city solutions to businesses and governments worldwide.
The Hawks’ partnership with Rubicon provides the Hawks and State Farm Arena with industry-leading software and equipment for collecting and hauling materials as well as creative solutions for recycling various materials. In addition, Rubicon provides logistical and operational support.
Beginning with the second half of the Atlanta Hawks’ 2020-21 regular season, State Farm Arena will continue to work with Rubicon on the newly implemented processes to ensure the venue remains a zero-waste venue for all future events. State Farm Arena hosts approximately 200 events annually.
“As we strive to make State Farm Arena a sustainable venue for all events, we are proud that our zero-waste program exceeded expectations during this marquee event,” said Sofi Armenakian, Director of Operations and Sustainability for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. “Our continuing partnership with Rubicon made this achievement possible and will help us set a new standard on how a sports venue can contribute in their community’s sustainability efforts and how we play green off the court.”
Along with Rubicon, State Farm Arena was aided in its zero-waste efforts by the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM), which aids in creating various recycling solutions for the city of Atlanta, and others. In addition, the venue activated 15 volunteers in partnership with the City of Atlanta Sustainability Ambassadors program, which aided guests at the venue in the process of properly sorting to reduce contamination. Additionally, Levy Restaurants, the official food and beverage partner of the Hawks and State Farm Arena, helped in the supply chain process. Pritchard Sports & Entertainment, the team’s official housekeeping partner, also assisted operationally with the collection and sorting of all materials.
“From Rubicon’s founding, it was our goal to reinvent the waste and recycling industry,” said Nate Morris, Founder and CEO of Rubicon. “We built a transformational software platform, and landmark moments like achieving the first zero-waste NBA All-Star event in history validate our belief in the power of technology solutions to solve complex problems. We are thrilled to partner with the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena on our shared mission to end waste, and look forward to building on this partnership in the future.”
State Farm Arena and Rubicon have successfully partnered on several major events in the past. The two companies teamed up to keep nearly 12 tons of waste out of landfills during the five events at State Farm Arena in the week leading up to Super Bowl LIII. Additionally, Rubicon partnered with the venue during the arena’s award-winning $192.5M transformation, with the removal of 12,500 seats, which resulted in 64 tons of recyclable material being identified.
To learn more about Rubicon’s software platform and other services, visit Rubicon.com.