Yes to party and yes to waste disposal!
People want to party, to celebrate, to simply enjoy lasting moments. At every major event such as the World Ski Championships the downside of these moments is something which is termed simply “waste”. It is not possible to entirely avoid materials that have to be disposed of. And who would swear that they have never dropped a piece of paper, a plastic wrapping, a cigarette: by mistake, by laziness, through lack of a disposal unit.
60 helpers on duty
Ursina El Sammra knows the problem in depth. She develops waste disposal concepts for communities and events (umweltgemeinde.ch). “People want to party and have a good time, they do not permanently want to think of where to put their waste”, she says, “and that is entirely understandable.”
So anyway, there will be waste, and not in small quantities: “Together with Reto Rupf and Martin Wyttenbach from the ZHAW (Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften) we created and implemented a disposal concept specially for the World Championships in St. Moritz. We reckon with 40 to 50 tons of waste”, says Ursina El Sammra. This is a substantial amount, and with 60 helpers they want to support the fans and all other attendees to dispose their waste correctly on Salastrains, in the Kulm Park, the pedestrian areas but also on the parking lots and shuttle bus stops.
No confetti cannons please!
World Ski Championships are a challenge of giant proportions, in two ways: firstly, they are an open event spread over a large area, not within a confined space; secondly, there is snow. “One cannot just arrive with one’s broom and sweep everything away”, says Ursina El Sammra, remembering the World Cup Finals in March 2016: “There they fired a confetti cannon…” And she does not even want to think about what that meant for her industrious workers. Or just look at the cigarette butts which burn themselves deep into the snow and belong to the worst items that people just throw away.
Yet Ursina El Sammra and her team will not get dispirited. If something is lying on the ground it should be removed as quickly as possible. “There is the so-called broked-window theory”, she says. “If there is waste lying around it will accumulate in no time. If it is clean, people are more considerate.” Ursina El Sammra and her team already give thanks to all the ski fans who dispose their waste correctly.