Helping Football Take the Lead in Fighting Waste in Goa
SZW began waste management operations in Goa to keep our coastlines plastic-free. We started working with the Panchayat in Calangute to support source segregation of waste and optimize its collection.
Goa is the only Indian state to declare football as its official sport. In 2019, FC Goa noticed our work and invited us to support them this season to manage waste generated during the matches. The team is nicknamed The Gaurs, and owned by Virat Kohli, who had earlier endorsed responsible waste manageent during IPL matches in Bengaluru – where SZW manages waste. The colours on FC Goa’s logo, blue and orange, symbolize the Goan coastline and sunrise.
For our first match –
- We got more bins of uniform colours – blue for dry waste and green for wet waste.
- We positioned our twin-bin system near the stalls and food vendors, and then labeled each with clear signs.
- Reusable HDPE bags were provided to replace and phase out single-use bin liners.
- Near water stalls, blue bins were placed to collect PET plastic separately.
- Housekeeping staff at the stadium was trained to handle waste sustainably and effectively.
We went on to handle all other matches for FC Goa at Fatorda stadium. With each match, the number of spectators increased and we tweaked our operations to improve efficiency and raise awareness.
Smaller bins were used as they were easier to transport, and mixed waste easier to spot and remove.
- Primary segregation of dry waste into further categories was done in-house. More staff was stationed at the bins and strictly instructed to adhere to segregation guidelines.
- Police, bouncers and other staff were also briefed.
- Waste was cleared out before every match and all extra bins were removed to avoid mixed waste.
- FC Goa even requested their fans to pay attention to segregation of waste during their games.
Within a span of 6 games, we observed that segregation levels had improved, especially from children. Spectators were sensitized to the cause and we’d eliminated all dumping of waste in and around the stadium. We also diverted a total of 5.5 TONNES of waste from landfills.
Dry waste was recycled into different products. Water & beverage bottles, which are primarily PET plastic, were made into fabric and T-shirts. Paper waste went to paper mills for recycling. Low-grade plastic, mainly wrappers and other packaging material, was used as alternative fuel in cement kilns.
FC Goa gave our team some unique T-shirts.
We also collaborated with FC Goa for multiple plogs and clean up drives, as part of the Goa vs. Garbage program adopted by the club, and collected hundreds of kilos of waste. Runners were provided with gloves, garbage bags and water. All waste collected was brought to the stadium where our team segregated it further into 13 streams in line with our commitment to maximum resource recovery.