Waste Management for Stadiums

There is an ever-increasing number of stadiums in the UK. Home to immense public footfall each year, stadiums can’t help but generate a huge amount of waste, with great recyclable potential. This makes clever waste management critical to ensuring optimal operations, responsible business practice, and the most cost-effective solution to this by-product.

Why is sustainability and waste management important in stadiums?

  • Stadiums around the UK seat up to 90 000 people for events all year round. That kind of capacity unavoidably generates a lot of waste. This makes sustainable waste management an environmental and operational imperative.
  • Stadium managers and facility managers are increasingly adopting a philosophy of zero waste to landfill. This sets a standard in the industry for innovation around sustainable waste management.
  • There are health and safety implications associated with how waste is handled, stored, and disposed of in the stadium context. This applies to employees of the stadium, as well as its visitors.
  • The green status of businesses has never been more important to the general public. Sustainable environmental policies within stadiums has the potential to attract more people.
  • This year, Sky News and the Premier League launched an initiative to attempt to phase out single-use plastics in stadiums – including steps like the introduction of re-usable cups. While this establishes an expectation and benchmark amongst spectators, it also serves to raise invaluable awareness amongst the public on the importance of recycling culture to the environment.

Waste Management for Stadiums

The most important factors of waste management for stadiums is that waste disposal must be:

  • Quick
  • Reliable and efficient
  • Cost-effective
  • Sustainable

There are also other fundamental considerations like effective waste storage and managers are tasked with storing waste away from the public. By baling and compacting waste, stadiums can reduce the number of waste collections required, as well as the space required for storage.

By virtue of their operations, stadiums generate different types of waste streams. These most notably include:

  • Paper and cardboard
  • Packaging
  • Food waste

Clever waste management strategy involves innovation around each separate waste stream.

Major stadiums in England are constantly trying to improve their environmental profiles – and waste is a component of this. It requires a holistic view, encompassing water, energy, transport, and the types of waste ultimately sent to landfill.

How to reduce waste in stadiums

Identify waste types

There can be no waste management strategy without introspection. Managers can work together with event organisers to identify the types of waste it is anticipated will be generated at different types of events.

Assess your existing disposal methods

How do you currently dispose of the different waste types? Does the bulk of your plastic, cardboard, paper, food, and glass waste end up in your general waste bins? As a general rule, the more waste in general waste, the more costly it will be.

Define your objectives

What do you hope to achieve from your waste management strategy? Optimising waste separation is a great starting point – and can serve to increase the amount of recyclable waste actually sent for recycling after an event.

Choose who to work with carefully

Look to your suppliers as part of your waste management strategy. How are your essential supplies packaged? Negotiate with suppliers and vendors to procure recyclable, compostable packaging wherever possible.

Get visitor buy-in

The easiest way to set your strategy in motion is to get your visitors to work with you. By not allowing external food and drink into stadiums, you are able to better control the different waste types and how they are disposed of during an event. Wherever there is a bin (both within the stadium and in the area surrounding it), create the option for recycling with clear instructions for passing traffic. This type of messaging should be incorporated into as many forms of marketing material as possible on the day of the match or concert and in advance on social media, etc.

Don’t go at it alone

Employing the services of reputable waste management specialists can give you the edge in devising an effective waste management strategy. With expert insights and tailored advice, they can add real value and potentially reduce your costs substantially.

Waste is not limited to rubbish

Don’t water down your environmental efforts

It takes an estimated 20 000 litres of water a day to water a pitch in the English Premier League. Exploring the options around rainwater harvesting and recycling water within the stadium stands to help reduce the environmental impact of pitch maintenance. The water-intensive nature of this practice also makes shopping the market for the best water contract a fundamental exercise – one which has the potential to affect profitability.

Travel light

Travelling to events by car, fans can’t help but generate notable emissions. Wembley Stadium has become a public transport destination and this encourages the use of alternative forms of transport and reduced emissions. Encourage this as much as possible among visitors as part of your commitment to the future of the environment.

Power up by powering down

Stadiums have intensive lighting requirements, which accounts for high energy usage and bills. LED lights are becoming the new industry norm, consuming less energy for nearly a third more light than their previous counterparts. As with water, stadiums should understand their energy usage, focus on effective procurement processes, and strategies around behaviour to achieve energy and cost efficiency.

Elevate your stadium’s waste management strategy to that of world-class venues by working with waste management specialists, Smarter Business. Reliable, cost-effective, and efficient waste management meets industry-leading utilities and business services to offer comprehensive solutions to stadium and facilities managers.