Billie Eilish Fans at State Farm Arena Produce a Nearly Zero-Waste Show

Billie Eilish State Farm Arena

(Credit: State Farm Arena)

by | Feb 7, 2022

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Billie Eilish State Farm Arena

(Credit: State Farm Arena)

Nearly 92% of waste generated by fans at a Billie Eilish performance at State Farm Arena in Atlanta was diverted from landfills by being recycled, donated, composted or reused.

State Farm Arena partnered with the University of Georgia’s Office of Sustainability to help fans at the sold-out show dispose items into different waste bins, such as recycling, compost or trash. The concert also had an eco-lounge hosted by environmental non-profit organization Reverb, to help “green” the entire tour and to showcase other organizations in terms of their sustainability work.

The arena and its NBA tenant the Atlanta Hawks have been striving to become a zero-waste venue, diverting more than 90% of fan-generated waste from landfills at basketball games throughout 2021. That has improved from a 10% waste-diversion rate at 2019 Hawks games.

The facility also added recycling and sustainability partner Novelis in late 2021 to further advance its efforts.

The arena recently switched from single-stream recycling to multi-stream, which means it is separating different recyclables such as aluminum, plastic, glass and cardboard. Through the partnership with Novelis it also offers incentives to fans in attendance to properly dispose of waste.

It is all part of an effort by State Farm Arena to become a TRUE zero-waste venue, which stands for total resource use and efficiency. The standard is set by the Green Business Certification Inc.

State Farm Arena met the standard at a Hawks playoff game last year, which it said was the first time a sporting event had done so. The arena also said it diverted more than 97% of waste at the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

According to the EPA, attendees at sporting events produce more than 39 million pounds of trash each year in the US. The EPA’s organization Green Sports Alliance includes more than 77 teams and 102 venues to help address sustainability efforts at events.

Such sustainable efforts are becoming more common place at events and venues. Denver’s Pepsi Center, now Ball Arena, started using recyclable aluminum cups in 2019, as did Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.

Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts introduced efficient fuel cell technology for its energy servers to supply half its power and cut 1,500 metric tons of carbon emissions a year. England’s Arsenal Football Club also installed a battery storage system to meet energy needs during peak times at matches. Last year’s Ryder Cup golf tournament was also set up to be energy efficient across all of its operations.

State Farm Arena hosts around 200 events and nearly two million fans each year.

“Billie Eilish and her fans were instrumental in making this stop another successful green event,” says Sofi Armenakian, Hawks and State Farm Arena director of sustainability and operations.

Want to learn more about how State Farm Arena successfully manages waste and energy? Geoff Stiles, VP of facilities and operations for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, will be speaking at the E+E Leader Energy Summit. Register here.

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