Picking up from our first installment How To Futureproof Football: Part 1- What Does The Sustainability Log Look Like? We now explore various waste management strategies that football (and other sporting) clubs can implement to support their journey towards sustainability.

  1. Understanding what makes up your waste.

The first step setting up a waste management system, begins with understanding what items make up your waste streams. Don’t Waste believes in the mantra: “You cannot manage what you haven’t measured”, and we encourage clients to conduct a waste audit at the onset of their zero waste journey.

At Don’t Waste, waste audits are done by trained professionals, who thoroughly analyse the generated waste streams, create a waste profile, and present advanced reports containing detailed recommendations on any potential actions that can be taken by the business, to further improve its environmental footprint. This can be done through either avoidance or alternate treatment, source segregation or even a simple change of behaviour.

  1. Setting up a waste management system.

Sports clubs are urged to appoint waste management professionals to set up a waste management system (Figure 1), which will bridge the gaps between producing waste, sorting waste and the final treatment. The system must support the applicable waste and environmental legislations, and ensure that the club is aware of what happens to the waste, after removal from its stadiums and training grounds.


Don't waste system

                                                                                                       Figure 1: Waste management system at Don’t Waste

  1. Waste Area Planning

In conjunction with the waste management system, waste area planning is essential in ensuring that adequate provisions are made (preferably in the design stage of a building) for waste operations.  This in turn will feed into determining space requirements in relation to waste volumes, containers and equipment needed and work flow. With stadiums being open to the public, a clean, safe and contained waste area is a must.

Using our 3D waste area modelling, Don’t Waste can provide insights and forecasts relating to waste generation, waste area size, and waste flow based on the scale, type, purpose and size of amenities.

  1. Sustainable Supply Chains

Choosing suppliers that have sustainability in its ethos will make the club’s journey to zero waste much easier. Taking food suppliers as an example, clubs can empower their suppliers to use recyclable food containers (e.g. paper boxes instead of polystyrene); and source food from sustainably responsible farms and production facilities. Like Tottenham Hotspur , clubs should aspire to engage and empower  local service providers, boosting ESG ratings.

  1. Innovation

Using the waste hierarchy as a guide (Figure 2), innovative solutions to firstly avoid waste can save clubs costs on disposal, transport and carbon emissions. Newer solutions, such as Reverse Vending (RV) machines, can aid clubs with avoiding waste at its source. Fans can deposit specific types of recyclables into the RV machines, and receive vouchers or discounts off their next purchase at the stadium. This will prevent valuable recyclable material from being discarded and motivate fans to think and behave sustainably. Taking cue from Liverpool Football Club and Nike, other clubs can look at recycling plastic grades of waste by incorporating it into its kits, or even in the manufacturing of new seats at stadiums or training grounds.

waste hierarchy

                                                                                                                                     Figure 2: Waste hierarchy

Whilst the love of football has been passed down generations, environmental awareness has only become prevalent recently. Thanks to global campaigns on environmental and climate change issues, football fans have high expectations from their favourite clubs regarding their sustainability initiatives. As football clubs continue on their journey to NET Zero targets, it is imperative that they remember that an efficient and bespoke waste management system is the foundation to setting and achieving sustainability goals.


Don’t Waste provides industry leading business intelligence, site management, and waste management services to Property, Retail, Commercial, Industrial and Hospitality industries. Our customers include the world’s leading property management groups. Event Venues, Stadia and Sports Clubs produce significant amounts of Waste and can benefit from the System. To find out more about our innovative value-added systems and services in onsite waste operations, contact:

Linus Naik- Group Manager: Sustainability & Business Development (Email: I Mobile: +27 82 552 0675).

Michael Foreman- Managing Director UK (Email: I Mobile: +44 7939 027193).

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