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2012 Olympics Games Divert Landfill through Reuse and Recycling

The 2012 London Olympics and the London Organizing Committee of Olympic Games (LOCOG) has made it their goal to become known as the “greenest games in history” and are taking major steps to ensure that that goal is achieved. LOCOG has worked hard to ensure that any possible waste from the entire event is “reused” or “recycled.”

The site chosen for the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London was a previously developed site that had been labeled a “brownfield,” a contaminated site with previous industrial development. Prior to construction of the arena, the site had to be cleaned, decontaminated, and tested for purification. Doing so kept two million tons of contaminated soil from going to the landfill. The target goal for this stage of construction was to reuse 80% of the soil. The goal was surpassed and the project reused 85% of the existing, previously contaminated soil.

Construction of the Olympic Stadium, was also designed with sustainability in mind.  Populous, the design team for the structure, incorporated into the design, the reuse of confiscated guns. Over the year, the Metropolitan Police colledted over 52 tons of metal from guns and knives. That material was diverted from the landfill and instead was melted and used in the structure.

LOCAG’s goal for construction of the Olympic Stadium was to send zero waste to the landfill. By the end of construction, ninety percent of the construction waste had either been reused or been recycled. In addition to salvaging excess construction materials, 20% of the materials used in the construction of the venues were recycled materials.

In addition to the “green” construction efforts, LOCOG has also been teaming up and encouraging other supporters of the Olympic Games to raise public awareness for the need to go green. Coca-Cola has promised to recycle and reuse all the plastic of their products as well as other products from the events and will reuse the plastic for new bottles. Local packaging companies have teamed up with LOCOG to ensure that all packaging for the 2012 games will be made of compostable materials. Through the duration of the Olympic Games, it is expected that 3600 tons of waste will be produced from packaging alone which will be diverted from a landfill.

LOCOG’s goal for the 2012 Games is zero waste to the landfill, however, have pledged that 70% of will be reused, recycled, or composted. LOCOG’s goals to keep the 2012 Olympic Games green and their efforts to involve other supporters make the games not only the greenest games in history, but also the largest green effort.

Thanks to the 2012 Olypmics for supporting and promoting sustainability and reuse!