The sheer scale of the London 2012 Olympic Games goes far beyond the vast construction projects resulting in a large chunk of run-down East London being redeveloped or the huge numbers of visitors and competitors from all over the world that will flood here during July. The transport logistics are truly daunting; from challenges facing the UK Borders Agency in getting hundreds of thousands of extra visitors through our airports without too long of a wait, to the potential log jams on many routes in the Capital with special road routes for competitors and Olympic VIP’s pushing “normal” traffic into what road space is left! Despite the best of planning and without sounding too pessimistic, with the recent two or three hour waits at border control recently before the rush has even started and the nose to tail grind of driving in London without all the road closures yet in place I do worry the sheer volume of visitors and vehicles could yet overwhelm the system and make London 2012 memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Still, one small thing that does appear to have been planned very effectively is the disposal of the many hundreds of thousands of plastic drinks bottles that will be thrown away in and around the various Olympic venues. With Coca-Cola appointed one of the official sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics they have not only a monopoly on the sale and provision of branded soft drinks within the games arrangements but clearly an environmental responsibility to ensure the empty cans and bottles, many of them dispensed by vending machines, are recycled as effectively as possible. To help meet that obligation they will be using the brand new Continuum recycling facility recently opened at Hemswell Cliff at a cost of £15 million. This new plant can return up to 20 million new bottles, many of them reprocessed from those collected from the Olympics, back to the shop shelves within just six weeks. Coca-Cola has placed specially branded recycle bins in large numbers around the various Olympic venues to maximise the level of recycling attained.
In addition to their direct Olympic Sponsors commitments Coca-Cola are placing 260 new recycling bins around the centre of London, not just for the duration of the games, but as a long term commitment of can and bottle recycling in conjunction with Westminster City Council. It is hoped this will make a small but effective contribution to reducing the staggering 11,000 tonnes of waste produced in London every single day. In addition Coca-Cola already have over 40 “recycle zones” in strategic locations across the country as part of their global commitment to recover at least 50% of the cans and bottles associated with their products in the next three years.
So if, or more likely when, from around the 12th of July you find yourself waiting forever in a long queue at the airport trying to get back into the country or stuck in traffic in East London going nowhere fast at least you can enjoy a cool refreshing drink and not have to move very far to find a bin to recycle the can or bottle when you have finished before re-joining the queue. As for me I am that “enthused” by the whole thing I am taking a full two and a half weeks holiday abroad for the first time in 12 years starting just before the games open and returning in time to miss the closing ceremony!!!
Written by: Colin from KSV.