The stage is set. The Olympic venues open for world records. The athletes ready to achieve greatness. London population hyped.
In less than 10 hours the Olympic torch will be lit in the pompous Olympic Stadium in Stratford in front of millions of people. This is the moment London was waiting for. Two weeks of record breaking and thrilling games awaits the heart of London. It has been an expensive and not always fortunate way up till this moment. However, one more aspect LOCOG and the city London is trying to promote refer London 2012 to be the ‘greenest’ Olympic Games to date.
Here are some key facts provided by LOCOG:
- 20% of the energy they use is based on renewable sources
- 2,000 newts and hundreds of toads were taken out of the Olympic Park during the construction
- 90% of materials from the demolished buildings were recovered, in order to reuse or recycle them.
So London will try to use energy- efficient technology from the new Olympic Park Energy Centre during the Games providing electricity, heating, cooling and hot water. The forecast is that 20% of energy will be of renewable energy in the Olympic Park, which shall help in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases created by the games. Examples of those renewable sources are Biomass boilers, which will burn recycled woodchip to generate power. Wind turbines are increasingly used as well in the north of the park as one turbine can produce electricity for at least 1,000 homes.
Before construction work started for all the stadiums and venues, LOCOG was keen on conducting surveys of plants and animals living in those areas, such as in Stratford where the Olympic Park is located. Taking the Olympic Park as an example, rubbish removal, which included tyres and cars, has been carried out, in order to ensure clear and free paths to the Park. Moreover, footpaths and cycleways were improved for the local people and wildlife. To the excitement of all the animal loving people, 45 hectares of wildlife habitats were left around the Park during the Games. You got to say, London is taking care of their wildlife.
The final point, in order to ensure the greenest Games ever, is the material used. London tried to use as less materials as possible, so less waste is created during the construction period. Therefore, this action is definitely better for the environment and resources were reused and recycled on the spot.
For instance, soil washing machines are used to wash, sieve and shake out materials, which pollute the soil (petrol,oil,tar). Buildings around the Olympic Park were taken down and rebuilt elsewhere, which ensured minimum waste in that area. Interesting is the fact that 80 lampposts, two tonnes of red bricks and 76 tonnes of paving stones are saved for reuse on the park.
However, recent studies have suggested that London won’t be able to achieve a zero waste legacy around the whole city, due to low level of engagement with organisations outside the Olympic Park. We will see during the Games how much effort London has put to offer the ‘greenest’ Olympics to date. However, they are trying to be a role model for other organisations of big events. Going green is the step to take in the future!
This post was contributed by Sachinda Jayatilleke on behalf of AnyJunk - the easy and eco-friendly alternative to skip hire.