The first carbon-neutral World Cup: Qatar 2022 sets a benchmark in sustainability

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An engineer looking at recycling waste.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 was announced as the first carbon-neutral World Cup in history, affirming Qatar’s commitment to sustainability. The Qatar Ministry of Municipality revealed that every bit of waste created during the tournament had been successfully sorted and recycled.

The achievement was further punctuated by the statistics divulged by the Minister of Municipality, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie. The Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre (DSWMC) in Mesaieed generated over 271 million kilowatt-hours of power and more than 35,000 tonnes of fertilisers in the preceding year. Additionally, over 27,000 tonnes of recyclable materials were reprocessed.

This milestone, a first in the history of major tournaments, demonstrated an unprecedented level of waste sorting and recycling. “Qatar managed to achieve zero waste after turning all waste gathered from all stadiums and fan zones into recyclable materials or clean energy at the DSWMC in Mesaieed,” stated Al Subaie.

A critical aspect of this successful operation was a meticulously planned strategy for the safe disposal and recycling of used tyres, a task tackled in collaboration with relevant agencies. A staggering 180,000 tonnes of tyres were recycled, with local private sector companies and tyre recycling factories in the Al Afja area stepping in to aid the process.

Speaking on Qatar’s broader environmental efforts, Al Subaie revealed that the ministry currently recycles about 54% of the domestically generated waste from households, commercial, and industrial sectors, transforming it into energy and fertiliser.

In a bid to raise the culture of recycling in all its forms within the nation, the ministry has allocated approximately 153 plots of land for waste recycling for use by the private sector, including factories and companies.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Sheikh Faleh bin Nasser Al Thani, affirmed the nation’s commitment to environmental sustainability. He stated that these efforts to recycle and promote a culture of recycling align with the Qatar National Strategy for Environment and Climate Change 2030.

The success of Qatar’s World Cup 2022 showcases a pioneering green model for future international events, setting a high environmental bar that champions sustainability and recycling.

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