The Olympic Games are a large affair that requires the cooperation of many different sectors in order to be successfully run. The scale and reach of these Games can be quite overwhelming and every aspect needs to be carefully planned to ensure a smooth process. Waste management and the clear up of the daily accumulation of rubbish from the various venues and public areas during the Olympics can be a huge task, but a vital one that needs to be attended to with great detail and care.
A brief history of the Olympics
The Modern Olympic games have been held every four years since 1896 and stand as the pinnacle of athletic competition for athletes around the world. There is nothing more desirable than claiming that prestigious Gold Medal and being heralded as a hero for your country. Nations from every corner of the globe send their most hardy competitors into battle in such disciplines as Rowing, Shot put and Marathon running. These games are held across various venues in a specific city and the management of the events, catering, stadiums, hospitality and waste clearance is a daunting task for the government and councils involved. Thousands of athletes and their trainers have to be accommodated, not to mention the tens of thousands of spectators who will be arriving from all over the world.
Rubbish removal – A monumental task
One aspect of the management of the Olympic Games is the clear up of the accumulated rubbish on a day to day basis. Imagine the amount of rubbish that is generated from thousands of spectators at the stadiums, people walking the streets in the Olympic villages etc. and the general day to day waste on the streets where cycle races and marathons are taking place. During the London 2012 Olympic, it was estimated that 85 tonnes of rubbish was cleared across the first weekend of the games alone. This staggering amount of refuse takes time and a team of well-disciplined and organised staff to clear. The list below shows some of the ways rubbish can be generated during events like the Olympic Games:
- Spectators rubbish in the stadiums from food and drink
- Athletes rubbish in the stadiums and training areas from things like energy drinks etc.
- Rubbish in the streets where cycle races are held
- Food and drink waste from eateries and bars around the Olympic venues
- Paper waste from items like programs and souvenirs
There really is a lot to deal with and it takes a specialist task force to deal with the influx of waste during the Olympic events. Dedicated and experienced teams are usually required to tackle different areas of the cleaning process. For example a team of road sweepers to clear the public walkways and marathon routes, litter pickers to clear stray rubbish and empty bins in the stadiums and waste removal lorries to then take all of this accumulated filth away for disposal and let’s not forget the recycling that needs to take place of all this rubbish. It’s not easy, but someone does it!