The whole world has gathered in London for the Summer Olympic Games. It is the third time this city has hosted the games, and the nation is aiming to make it unique as the first “sustainable” Olympics. In fact, while they were bidding to host their games, part of London’s pitch was to make it green, claiming that carbon emissions would be reduced by 50 percent. While not all sustainability goals were met, many factors were involved in making this year’s Olympics eco-friendly.
The massive Olympic Park was constructed on old brownfields in Stratford on the east side of the city. There were many derelict industrial sites with a deep history of hazardous waste and resulting soil contamination. Before any new structures could be built, the site had to be prepared. Old industrial buildings were demolished, sorted, and recycled or reused onsite as fill. Over a million cubic meters of soil was also cleaned. The enormous cleanup effort will not only help in the construction of Olympic Park, but in the entire area for years to come. After the games come and go, the land will be usable for real estate and should provide a boost to the economy.