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The Kia Oval


The 2023 Ashes saw Stuart Broad, England cricket’s golden boy, sign out from Test cricket in style, cleaning up his final-ever wicket at the Ashes in his final over. It was a fitting end to a glittering career. While the crowd at The Kia Oval celebrated Broad’s final wicket, there was another reason for joy. Bywaters cleaned up The Kia Oval through effective recycling methods, while improving the recycling rate by 22%.


What needs to be done?


The Ashes drew in an unprecedented amount of waste, more than doubling the weight of waste produced by its predecessor, The World Test Championship. To manage this increase, it was essential that all parties involved worked together in a collaborative effort to address this challenge. Our customer, Kia Oval, motivated its third-party cleaning company partner to improve all practices for managing waste while adopting Bywaters’ plans to increase the current recycling rate. The task of managing waste in a prestigious arena over five days of competition required a tremendous amount of effort and communication, a challenge all parties relished and completed successfully.


What we needed to work around


Due to differences in crowd size, the Ashes brought in a larger capacity of waste, notably through catering packages such as cardboard, dry mixed recycling and biodegradable plastic. The challenge was to manage the increase in incoming waste while simultaneously boosting the recycling rate at The Kia Oval.

The Kia Oval, one of England’s most prestigious cricket grounds, is surrounded by residential properties with noise restrictions in place. This challenge fell alongside all services needing to be completed before the gates opened to the public, meaning the only possible collection window was between 07:00 and 08:30 am.

It was a daunting task, but with the right strategies and infrastructure in place, our team and The Kia Oval rose to the occasion.


How we made it happen


The improvement seen between the two test tournaments was staggering. At the heart of it all was the immense attention to detail that went into every aspect of the event. Our team completed detailed audits to assess which factors could be improved upon. We also looked at what had worked with other clients. From our research, we concluded that on-site waste operatives were a consistent factor in the success of our partners.

The team at Bywaters provided a round-the-clock service to Kia Oval, managing collections before the crowd of over 27,500 entered the stadium. The restricted hours given by the council meant that our staff had a limited time frame in which to work. However, our collaboration with the Kia Oval team allowed for us to work overnight, starting as early as two in the morning through a small gate located further away from the residential area.

To optimise efficiency on site, we implemented a new approach to our waste management strategy. With the goal of reducing trips and time away from the site, we arranged for both compactors to be exchanged with a fresh machine every day, rather than being tipped and returned. This would help save us time. This required a great deal of collaboration with the site, as plenty of space needed to be allocated for drivers to complete the necessary manoeuvres. As a result, there was a greater need for engineers to check the machines and ensure everything was running smoothly. While it required extra effort all around, this adjustment ultimately helped to minimise trips and streamline our waste management process.

Between the two world-renowned tournaments, our team noted the lack of cardboard recycling as an opportunity for immediate improvement. We increased the number of cardboard bales, from one to twenty and worked hard to educate staff on-site on ways they can engage others on proper cardboard recycling methods.

The World Test Championships collected 450kg of cardboard, whereas The Ashes managed over 5560kg of cardboard. This sudden improvement is a testament to the Kia Oval, its partners amongst the cleaning team and those at Bywaters working round-the-clock to provide the best possible service.


The results


The successful conclusion behind our partnership with The Kia Oval highlights the importance of collaboration, attention to detail and the possibilities available when all parties work together for the benefit of the environment.

The Kia Oval’s recycling rate saw an increase of over 23% between the two tournaments. The Ashes saw us manage more than double the weight seen at the previous tournament at the Kia Oval (World Test Championship).

The collaborative effort pushed The Kia Oval’s recycling rate to more than 21% above the UK’s national recycling rate!

Our commitment to sustainability and our passion for sports has driven us to achieve these impressive results, and we’re excited to continue our efforts in making the world a better and more eco-friendly place!



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