As the 2012 London Olympic Games gets underway, a flood of spectators are sure to fill the stadium seats. In fact, The Telegraph estimates about 11 million spectators will show up to the Olympic Games in London this summer. So, how does London plan on dealing with the huge increase in trash and waste production us wasteful humans generate wherever we go?
According to the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the 2012 Games will be the first ever truly sustainable Olympics. What does this actually mean? Well from a broad perspective, it simply means standards have been put in place to address climate change concerns, waste and healthy living targets.
You are sure to see plenty of recycling bins, and even composting bins, around the Olympic Park. Each will be color coded (see below). The LOCOG also plans to minimize food and packaging waste. The ultimate goal of the London Olympics is to make it a Zero Waste Games. It’s not going to be easy, but many initiatives are in place to make it a tangible goal.
The Zero Waste initiative follows a general “waste hierarchy” that includes the following in order of desirability: Avoidance/prevention, reusing, recycling, waste-to-energy and disposal/landfill. London hopes to avoid disposal/landfill waste as much as possible during the 2012 Games.
The LOCOG has a realistic goal of reusing/recycling/composting 70 percent of the total waste generated at the 2012 Olympic Games. The organization hopes to surpass this figure, but 70 percent is a tangible goal worth striving for.
The London Organizing Committee only handles waste removal in the Olympic Park areas, so surrounding facilities will not fall under the Zero Waste initiative. So, while the immediate vicinity of the Games will certainly be “green,” surrounding areas won’t necessarily be so eco-friendly.