With Russia hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, large sums of money are currently being spent on improving the country’s infrastructure. This huge sporting event, however, should not only help to grow the economy. Russia is also working together with FIFA to ensure it promotes sustainable development across the country as well. Saransk, one of the towns hosting the cup, is leading the way here.
64 games, eleven stadiums, more than three million fans from Russia and abroad: the “Russia 2018” FIFA Organising Committee has drawn up a detailed waste management concept for next year’s World Cup. REMONDIS Russia was given the opportunity to find out more about the concept at an early stage and pass on their knowledge about west European standards. Such background work is important for REMONDIS Russia – as is the operational side of the concept during the actual World Cup itself, especially in Saransk. This city, situated 640km south east of Moscow, is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia and will also be hosting a number of World Cup matches. REMONDIS’ branch there will be helping them throughout this time.
What Mordovia Arena will look like when it’s finished: an oval orange, red and white stadium. It is due to host its first World Cup match (two Group C teams) on 16 June 2018
REMONDIS began setting up a system in Saransk four years ago to enable recyclables to be collected separately. The logistics and previous collection schemes were completely overhauled; dedicated areas with special containers for different recyclable materials were set up at the blocks of flats around the town. Swetlana Bigesse, managing director responsible for Russia at REMONDIS International, explained: “This system is acting as a role model and showing other cities – also those beyond our region – what standards can be achieved. This is exactly what the World Cup organisers are looking for as they wish the stadiums to set an example and promote recycling and resource conservation.”
REMONDIS is helping the city authorities to prepare for the World Cup wherever it can – from giving advice, to supporting the planning committees, to providing the actual waste management services themselves
The FIFA Organising Committee’s waste management concept contains a list of requirements which the stadiums are expected to meet. Priority here has been put on ensuring that all waste and recyclables are collected separately from each other and that these materials are recycled so that less waste is sent to landfill. This is precisely what REMONDIS is already doing in Saransk today, although the existing structure will have to be expanded to cope with the demands of the World Cup.
The new football stadium is being built at the moment. Being the town’s official service partner, REMONDIS is responsible for managing the waste at this construction site as well
Saransk is expecting to welcome around 65,000 fans to its city on the days a match is actually being held. The number of visitors passing through has been put at approx. 200,000. Quite a challenge for the town which itself has just 330,000 inhabitants. What is important here is that the waste management requirements are met throughout the city and throughout the whole of the tournament. Not only in the fan zones and public areas, therefore, but wherever there may be large numbers of visitors – including the city’s airport and two train stations, the park and ride car parks on the edge of the town and the main roads leading to the stadium.
Work is already being carried out on drawing up a detailed waste management concept for the matches. The city authorities and REMONDIS are cooperating here with the local “Russia 2018” Organising Committee. A number of building projects are well underway, for example to build the stadium, a new airport terminal and runway as well as two hotel complexes. Being the town’s official service partner, REMONDIS is responsible for managing the waste for these projects as well. Plans are for it to be in charge of waste management in the stadium, too.
Last October, the “Russia 2018” FIFA Organising Committee and REMONDIS signed a memorandum covering their collaboration in Saransk that included a number of topics including separate waste collection schemes, environmental educational programmes and PR work.
Saransk is hosting a number of 2018 World Cup matches and is a best practice example – demonstrating how recycling can be increased by collecting waste materials separately
Russia’s government is also pushing for greater sustainable development: not long ago, the president of the Russian Federation signed a decree officially making 2017 the Year of Ecology. REMONDIS will also be extending its business operations (besides its World Cup plans) to ensure the environmental targets can be met. Hundreds of new containers, for example, are to be placed around Saransk to increase the volumes of recyclables collected. Every day, a short film is shown on the local TV channel in which REMONDIS explains to the residents how best to separate their waste. What’s more, events are being held regularly at kindergartens, schools and colleges to raise awareness for environmental issues. Swetlana Bigesse commented: “Communication and education are key to making progress in this area. The children and adolescents understand now just how important it is to handle waste responsibly to achieve a sustainable and environmentally friendly future.”
Schoolchildren from Saransk have joined in the campaign calling for more waste to be collected separately