4 minutes read

Qatar delivers on a zero-waste World Cup promise: 49% of the waste collected from the stadiums at Qatar 2022 was recycled

When Qatar successfully bid for the organisation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it set up for an ambitious plan, to provide an accessible tournament for everybody, with a carbon-neutral footprint and a zero-waste policy implemented since the first day, including during the erection of stadiums, hotels and infrastructure projects linked to the competition.

With one year before Qatar 2022, the Middle Eastern country successfully hosted the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup, where a zero-waste programme has been also implemented, as zero waste from that tournament was sent to the landfill. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), in collaboration with FIFA and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, ran a special project during the tournament in an effort to boost environmental sustainability in the lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“Each FIFA tournament provides us an opportunity to improve and to set higher goals. The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is no exception and the FIFA Arab Cup has given us the opportunity to test our operations and ensure all will be in place to achieve the waste management-related goals in the Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy,” said Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Environment, after the conclusion of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup.

Sure, the 2022 FIFA World Cup was going to be a whole different story, with over 1.2 million fans coming to Qatar to see their favourite teams playing in the competition, 64 matches being played and other infrastructure projects are undertaken until the start of the competition.

But according to the officials, everything has been working out smoothly in the first three weeks of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as the efforts to deliver the most sustainable edition of the mega sporting event bearing fruits over this period. In total, 49% of the waste collected from stadiums during the matches of the competition has been recycled so far, being converted into eco-friendly energy.

“Tonnes of waste have been collected from stadiums, venues of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The collected waste, which include cardboard, plastic, glass is being sent to recycling factories run by the Ministry of Municipality,” said Eng. Samira Muhammad Al Dosari from the Department of Radiation and Chemical Protection of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

All that waste was collected by the number of mobile waste transfer stations ahead of World Cup. Over 500 more vehicles were added cleaning fleet prior to the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in order for everything to work seamlessly and for the promise of a zero-waste tournament to be accomplished.

Doha South Transfer Station, which was designated for waste generated from World Cup activities, has a capacity of about 1,300 tonnes of waste per day. It is equipped with a primary sorting system for recyclable materials and transferring them to recycling plants.

Transfer stations play an effective role in the collection of waste, facilitate the process of transporting them according to the latest technologies of international standard, to be transferred later to the waste treatment centre to complete the disposal process, and to generate electricity, produce fertilisers and extract recyclable materials.

The transfer stations receive waste from General Cleanliness Department in small trucks with loads ranging from 3 to 7 tonnes. These stations compress wastes into large-sized vehicles with a capacity of 22 tonnes after which these vehicles transport the compressed waste to the waste treatment centre.

“The State of Qatar has adopted a comprehensive plan to manage and recycle waste. The ministry implements various programmes, initiatives and events in order to deal with all types of waste. Furthermore, we encourage companies, corporations and individuals to minimise the use of waste-producing materials, and instead, use recycled materials,” said Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Al Sada, Assistant Undersecretary for General Services Affairs, Ministry of Municipality.

Editor's pick