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Waste Generation

Waste management at tournament sites

Initiative description: Continuing to implement and enhance waste management in FIFA World Cup 2022™ site construction and implementing waste management systems for FIFA World Cup 2022™ site operations, so as to facilitate the avoidance, reduction, segregation, reuse, recycling and composting of waste.

Make recycling your goal at the FIFA World Cup 2022™

Waste management practices during construction of stadiums

Hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022™ brings associated obligations to manage waste sustainably in both the construction of infrastructure and in the operation of the event itself.

Effective waste management has been an important consideration throughout the construction programme, ensuring materials such as concrete, metals, plastic, wood, paper and cardboard are diverted from landfill. The focus on the waste hierarchy – avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle – to prevent waste going to landfill has so far delivered good results.

An average of 79% of construction waste (by weight) was diverted from landfill during stadium construction. Waste segregation at the source has been a key factor in maximising quantities recycled. Some 95% of the waste generated at Stadium 974 was diverted from landfill through reuse or recycling. Al Janoub Stadium achieved a 90% diversion rate, while Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium achieved 84%. Four other stadiums ranged between 72 and 80%. The table below indicates construction waste diverted from landfill for each stadium.

Percentage of construction waste diverted from landfill by weight
Al Bayt Stadium 80%
Al Janoub Stadium 90%
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium 84%
Al Thumama Stadium 73%
Education City Stadium 72%
Lusail Stadium 74%
Stadium 974 95%
Average 79%

*Excludes Khalifa Stadium as the stadium’s construction programme was limited to refurbishment only.

In 2020, together with Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), we carried out a detailed study of waste management at our stadium sites. As a result, a report highlighting 23 best practices used on SC stadium project sites was published for the purpose of sharing our knowledge, experience, and legacy with the construction sector. These practices include approaches to reduce single-use plastics, reduce food waste, reuse demolition waste, recycle wood into mulch, methods for the appropriate disposal of hazardous waste, and much more. The report also outlines the value of awareness programmes and factors such as the need for adequate space, labour, and machinery to facilitate effective waste management on site.

Waste management practices during tournament time

Every FIFA test event brings with it the opportunity to test operations and ensure systems are in place to achieve waste management-related goals.

Waste minimisation during the FIFA Club World Cup 2020™

For the FIFA Club World Cup 2020™, an assessment of the largest anticipated waste streams was undertaken, and operational tests to avoid, reduce, reuse, compost and recycle waste from the food & beverage sector were carried out. Focusing on workforce catering alone, the small-scale tests succeeded in diverting approximately 40% of waste from landfill by composting, recycling and eliminating unnecessary packaging.

Waste minimisation during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™

For the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™, organisers ran awareness raising projects at all six stadiums. This included regular in-stadium screen announcements, social media posts and performances by a sustainability edutainment outreach group that used music to motivate people to dispose of their waste in the right bins.

In back of house operations, waste recycling and segregation efforts were supported by the Ministry of Municipality, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and local contractors.

Through these awareness raising and waste segregation projects, and by employing sustainable procurement practices such as avoiding materials that produce waste, and using recyclable and compostable products in catering and logistics, every stadium achieved a recycling rate of at least 42% during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™, with Al Bayt Stadium achieving the highest recycling rate at 70%.

Read more here>>

Turning signage into buckets

Over 4,800 kgs of signage from the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ was diverted to a local recycler which converted signage material into new bucketsfor sale in the local market.

Reducing plastic waste

Reusable water bottles were distributed to volunteers leading to an estimated 9,000 plastic bottles avoided during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™.

Turning compost into fertilizer

Composting was carried out onsite at stadiums where organic waste from the tournament, such as leftover food, compostable packaging and pitch grass was broken down and further processed offsite into an agricultural soil additive. This fertilizer was distributed primarily to local Qatari farms.

In the leadup to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, recycling plans and messages to spectators have been further refined based on the lessons learned from preparatory events. It is expected that this will enable an even higher recycling rate by spectators during the tournament.