Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS-playing Atlanta United, has become the first professional sports stadium in the USA to receive the so-called Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE) pre-certification for its zero-waste efforts.
TRUE pre-certification is awarded by Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI) and recognises buildings and projects that have implemented the core programmes and policies needed to successfully move towards zero waste production. Facility operations director Dietmar Exler said:
Since its construction, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been committed to creating a sustainable environment both in and around the stadium to reduce our overall environmental footprint. This is just another step in our journey.
The Atlanta Stadium has various green practices and programs implemented to achieve zero waste on the day of the event and in the building's administrative offices on a daily basis. Initiatives include various recyclable and compostable supply chain items. While many stadiums offer additional activities like rock climbing and paintball, the arena in Atlanta has a true mini-recycling, waste sorting centre of more than 500 square metres on its grounds.
Mini-recycling centre at the stadium
All waste generated at Mercedes-Benz Stadium is collected and sorted. It is then separated into its appropriate streams: bottles, cans and plastics, and further recycled. Also, all food waste and other organic materials, such as compostable straws, cups, plates, napkins and utensils, are separated and taken away by a partner company to be processed into compost.
The stadium also employs water retention, energy conservation, alternative transportation, and urban garden development programs. The facility works with partners such as Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, Novelis, Phade and Waste Management to further intensify its environmental efforts. Other facilities in the US are also following in its footsteps, although so far, none can yet boast the relevant certifications.