On January 16th, 2020, members of the Sustainable FCT NOVA task force visited the Ecocenter of Sport Lisboa e Benfica to learn and share experiences on the methods used by this institution in order to improve the management of all the waste produced at its facilities.
The task force dedicated to the topic of Waste from Sustainable FCT NOVA, represented by Joana Santos, engineer responsible for the Sustainable FCT NOVA initiative, João Campôa, engineer with experience in waste management at FCT, and João Cruz, professor at the Physics Department, were present at the Sport Lisboa e Benfica (SLB) Ecocenter to exchange experiences and get to know the reality implemented by the ECOBenfica team in the waste management area.
The SLB Ecocenter was awarded the Innovation Award at the Benfica's 108th Anniversary Gala. It has been in operation since 2011 and guarantees the collection, sorting, storage and forwarding for recycling of about 200 tons of waste per sporting season. With a significant increase in the selective sorting of waste, particularly in the transition from the 2017/18 season to 2018/19 (data from the 2019/20 season yet to be obtained), there is a substantial increase in the quantities of paper waste and plastic packaging delivered, and a significant reduction in the amount of undifferentiated waste. Currently, the Ecocenter has three compactors and four operators for sorting waste. Due to the implemented processes and the entire control and sorting system carried out at the facilities, ECOBenfica is able to guarantee a recycling rate of approximately 100%.
Among the various waste management initiatives implemented by ECOBenfica, it is worth mentioning the provision of recycling bins in strategic places of common use, the installation of supports for the collection of cigarette butts and chewing gums, the provision of water dispensers in the corridors, the elimination of plastic cups and utensils and the awareness of employees and external suppliers present in the Stadium, so that all the waste sent to the Ecocenter is properly separated in recycling bags and with the highest degree of separation.
This visit was provided as part of contacts made during the Symposium "Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Sustainability: Challenges and Experiences", at the Benfica Cosme Damião Museum, on October 19th, 2019 (here).