Thursday, June 20, 2024

How Chepauk stadium plans to reduce waste at IPL matches

During a match at MA Chidambaram Stadium

During a match at MA Chidambaram Stadium

If you are going to MA Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk on April 3 for the Chennai Super Kings vs Lucknow Super Giants match in the Indian Premier League, watch the sidelines for an engaging sustainability exercise.

Effort will be made to ensure waste is segregated at source — waste found at allotted stands (C, D and E on April 3) during a match. What is meant for recycling will go to the recycling cart. What is meant for composting will go to the one earmarked for it.

Urbaser Sumeet, the waste management company engaged by the Greater Chennai Corporation, and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association have together put in place a “Green Protocol”, focused on the three R’s– Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

As part of this initiative, use of plastics within the stadium would be curtailed right from the entrance. The use of cloth bags and cloth banners would be encouraged. A good number of green and blue bins for disposal of wet and dry waste would be provided inside and outside the stadium.

“For the first time, we have designed a plan to ensure waste — although only in a set of allotted stands in every match — leaves the campus segregated,” says Mahmood Sait, chief executive officer, Urbaser Sumeet.

An active waste-segregation process could be initiated only for allotted stands every match. Seven matches are scheduled to be held at Chepauk.

Besides the stands, the concourse — where other stakeholders including police, fire service personnel and vendors are spotted the most — will be strictly subjected to this process.

Waste management at IPL matches was on the drawing board for some time.

The third one-day international match between India and Australia at Chepauk served as a platform to try out some of these plans.

“We put up a strong waste management team outside the stadium to ensure waste was being disposed of responsibly. For the IPL, we wanted to send a stronger message on segregation of waste at source,” says Sait.

VR Hari Balaji, head of Information, Education and Communication at the company, says one tonne of waste was generated during the India-Australia match.

Through special announcements and displays on digital boards, we hope to send out the message louder on responsible waste management, says Balaji.

During the India-Australia match, water was sold in paper cups. “We did not want too many paper cups in the bins, and so we have spoken to the vendor and suggested they limit the number of paper cups that are in circulation for the upcoming matches,” says Balaji.

The food and beverage counter is another area of intense focus: The ground staff have been asked to increase the frequency of garbage clearance. A litter picking equipment will also be pressed into service to pick up the garbage.

For the May 6 match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, student volunteers from a city college will be helping to clear the waste from the stands, says Balaji.

From other stadiums

Following the ‘Green Protocol’ is not a new exercise. For the last couple of years, Chinaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru has been taking steps to ensure there is zero littering and proper waste management at IPL matches. The food vendors are asked to use areca leaf plates and corn starch plates as opposed to disposable plastic cups and plates.

Holkar Stadium in Indore and Ekana Stadium in Lucknow have also followed green practices at the IPL matches.

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