ArenA’s circular trash – Closed


The Johan Cruijff Arena opened in 1996 as a multifunctional stadium for the area and the district of Zuidoost. Since then the stadium’s appeal has generated so much growth and innovation that the surrounding area now ranks number one on the ‘Highest Economic Added Value Per 1 km2’ list for 2017/2018.

The challenge the Johan Cruijff ArenA faces to keep the area liveable (read more below) is the following: how can we reduce the burden caused by two million visitors a year in terms of safety, accessibility, hospitality, noise and waste? Of course, we want to process litter and waste sustainably – according to circular principles – and the challenges at the Johan Cruijff Arena offer opportunities for innovation:

Litter around the Johan Cruijff ArenA:

  • Would more or larger rubbish bins cut the amount of litter in the area at peak times? Is waste sorting in public space a possibility?

Waste sorting in hallways and on bridges in the stadium

  • We now have three waste streams: paper, plastic and non-recyclable waste. Can we sort waste into more different streams? Do we have enough litter bins to do this, or the right kind?

Waste stream in the stadium:

  • This ought to be made up almost entirely of pure PET, but in practice this isn’t the case. How can we survey the problem and improve the situation if possible?

Plastic waste from the stadium

  • Our plastic waste stream is nearly always rejected and processed as non-recyclable waste. Investigate the composition of our plastic waste and seek innovative solutions in collaboration with the company Renewi.


The Challenge:

Develop an innovative solution to improve waste sorting and processing in and around the Johan Cruijff ArenA



  • Ultimately, we aim to achieve positive behavioural change among visitors.
  • Preferably, the solution is also applicable and scalable, so the design can be included in new processes and systems (also known as Liveable Smart Cities by Design).
  • In your solution consider how we can collect relevant, situational data and integrate it into other processes to improve service and the customer journey for visitors.


*The Amsterdam Innovation Arena (AIA) is a public and private initiative, founded by the City of Amsterdam and the Johan Cruijff Arena in 2015. An ecosystem of frontrunners who innovate by bringing and testing new solutions and technologies to our rapidly changing environment to help solve social challenges. The biggest living-lab in the metropolitan area of Amsterdam where ideas from all of our partners grow into innovative Smart and Livable City products and services. Together with strategic and project partners at the AIA we innovate on themes such as: Fan Experience, Sustainability & Circular Economy, Customer Journey, Facility Management, Safety & Security and Digital Connectivity.


Issued by: Chief Technology Office (CTO)