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XXII Commonwealth Games

What a load of rubbish!

Author: Dee Jones/19 July 2022/Categories: WORKPLACE ADVICE, A safe, clean environment

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While the stadiums, gymnasiums and sports venues are filled with 4500 athletes from 72 nations vying for medals, consider the amount of work required behind the scenes to make the Friendly Games a success for the thousands of spectators visiting the 15 venues in the West Midlands over the 12 days of sporting events.

One such area requiring continual action is the collection of litter. Studies have shown that the average person will drop their litter on the ground if there isn’t a bin within 10m of them. Despite fixed penalty notices being issued for littering, our streets continue to be strewn with food wrappers, drinks vessels and more that anything else - smoking related litter. With over one million people expected to attend the Games, that's potentially a huge increase in the amount of waste generated, so encouraging the visitors to use waste bins is key to keeping the West Midlands tidy.

Managing the waste from the competition venues
Visitors and spectators will be encouraged to correctly use the recycling and waste food bins that each of the 15 venues will have, as a way to reduce the amount of waste from the Games. Birmingham 2022 is aiming to make this the first Commonwealth Games with zero landfill waste, so setting a benchmark for future Games.

What happens to litter that is discarded or put into landfill?
It stays around for a very long time or even forever:

  • Cigarette butts and banana skins 2 years.
  • Plastic bags 10-20 years.
  • Aluminium cans 80-100 years.
  • Plastic bottles and glass don’t degrade.


Recycling domed bins
Recycling wheelie bin


White recycling bins
Colour coded recycling wheelie bins


Without any doubt, reducing waste by recycling is the key. If everyone is willing to play their own part by not littering and taking a little time to recycle their rubbish, then landfill sites needn’t grow and perhaps the World’s oceans can once again become clean and healthy.



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