One-Planet Olympics: Waste

© London 2012

LOGOC set an ambitious target to send zero waste from its venues to landfill, aiming to reuse, recycle or compost at least 70 per cent of its waste – everything from building materials to packaging to official merchandise – and using energy recovery systems or other technologies for the rest.

Big savings came from the site itself. Around 2 million tonnes of contaminated soil were cleaned and reused to create the Park, and 98.5 per cent of demolition waste was recycled, some of it on site. For example, it was used to build the Energy Centre and the foundations for the Aquatics Centre and Handball Arena. Meanwhile, the Olympic Stadium used concrete containing more than 30 per cent recycled materials.

The Olympic Park aims to reduce potable water use by 40 per cent. All Olympic venues are equipped with water-efficient fittings, and water-saving technologies include rainwater harvesting and filter backwash recycling. Non-potable wastewater is treated and used for flushing toilets and irrigation.

Suppliers are complying, too. Coca-Cola developed a plastic bottle recycling facility in North Lincolnshire to help the company recycle its waste from London 2012 without having to ship it abroad for processing. McDonald’s hot food packaging will contain 72 per cent recycled fibres, while takeaway bags, napkins and cup carriers are made entirely from recycled paper.

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