Biffa hails Commonwealth Games recycling rate

Biffa said today (26 September) that it recorded a recycling rate in excess of 50% at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, including 335,000 plastic bottles.

The company said more than half of the material collected at the games was recycled

The company was named as waste contractor for the 2022 Commonwealth Games that took place between 28 July and 8 August and also pledged to deliver the first carbon neutral games.

Biffa explained this was achieved thanks to its fleet for the Games, which included three electric refuse collection vehicles. Additionally, more than 100 of the company’s employees volunteered as ‘recycling ambassadors’, helping visitors use the correct bins.

A total of more than 400 tonnes of waste was collected over the course of the games, with more than half recycled, according to Biffa.

Charlotte Scallon, head of sustainability at Biffa, said: “We were delighted to be trusted as the official waste management and recycling provider for Birmingham 2022.

“We’re proud that we honoured our commitment to sustainably manage, treat and dispose of waste produced across the 12 days of the Games. It was a real team effort across the business.”


As well as 335,000 plastic bottles, the company said it also collected and recycled 13 tonnes of cardboard and paper, 2.5 tonnes of glass and 360kg of drinks cans from the games.

The company outlined that the plastic bottles were recycled at its polymer plants in the North East, with food waste turned into electricity at its anaerobic digestion facility in Cannock, West Midlands.

Biffa added that any waste that couldn’t be recycled, such as food scraps, was transformed into 143,000kWh of electricity, which is “enough to power almost 50 UK homes for a year”.

None of the waste went to landfill or was exported, helping save 225 tonnes of carbon emissions when compared to landfill disposal, Biffa continued.

‘Carbon neutral’

Mick Wright, Birmingham 2022’s executive director of games services and workforce, added: “It was very important to us to work with a provider that was committed to and experienced in sustainably managing waste and Biffa has proven to be the perfect partner, delivering on this aim and helping support our ambition of making Birmingham 2022 the first Commonwealth Games in history with a carbon-neutral legacy.”

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