Qatar committed to deliver ‘zero waste to landfill’ World Cup

The nation is all geared up to deliver one of the most sustainable FIFA events in history, and here’s how it looks to minimise waste.

Qatar is working to achieve a zero-waste-to-landfill tournament for the FIFA World Cup 2022, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) said, building on its promise to deliver a sustainable event.

The organisers’ main objective is to make sure that every piece of trash produced at stadiums and fan zones is recycled, composted, or turned into green energy.

“With the responsibility of hosting the FIFA World Cup came an even larger responsibility to avoid leaving an impact on Qatar’s environment. We started early in our journey to try to minimise the amount of waste being sent to landfill,” said Bodour Al Meer, the SC’s Sustainability Executive Director.

The official added that during the design and construction phase of the stadiums, authorities put a significant focus on minimising and recycling construction waste for a ‘greener’ approach. Now, for the operation phase, the focus is on avoidance, minimisation, segregation, recycling, and recovery.

A crucial component of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Sustainability Strategy is the goal to accomplish such an objective as the tournament nears.

To ensure everything is on track, successful tests were conducted throughout the FIFA Arab Cup 2021. Initially, during the tournament, materials that produced waste were avoided and instead replaced with recyclable products. Nine hundred reusable water bottles were distributed to the workforce and volunteers.

Various facilities were available to implement proper waste segregation. There were recycling bins available, and a composting machine for organic waste such as leftover food, biodegradable packaging, and grass clippings. A baler machine was used to compress the plastic waste to make it more manageable.

Waste from the 19-day competition was divided into organic, plastic, metal, electrical, and cardboard categories. The remaining waste was delivered to the Domestic Solid Waste Management Center of the Ministry of Municipalities for additional processing in a waste-to-energy facility.

In total, 70% of the rubbish generated throughout the tournament in all venues was successfully recycled at Al Bayt Stadium.  Each stadium recycled at least 42% of the waste produced during the competition, and the remaining waste was turned into green energy.

Now, it is time to expand efforts to the world’s largest football sporting event.

“Our work in the Arab Cup proved we can deliver a large-scale event without sending waste to landfill. Our goal is to replicate this success during the World Cup and set a new standard in hosting sustainable mega sporting events,” said Al Meer.

“While we will continue to do our best, waste is everyone’s responsibility. Therefore, we encourage fans to support our efforts by putting their waste in the correct bin,” added Al Meer.

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