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Olympic impacts: waste and pollution

Landfill site [10KB]

During demolition and construction, and during the event itself, the Olympics has the potential to create a vast amount of waste and pollution.

Preparing a site for an Olympic stadium requires extensive movement of land and waste materials as old buildings are demolished and land is cleared.

But the Games can also act as a catalyst in decontaminating polluted land. At Sydney 2000, the arena at Homebush Bay underwent a radical transformation. The area had been subject to large scale industrial dumping and without the Olympics it is likely that this land would have been left untouched (Greenpeace Australia, 2000)

In Beijing the Games provided a catalyst for the city to deal with its notorious air pollution. A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study praised the city's achievement in almost completely phasing out hydro chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. The phaseout was initially scheduled to be complete by 2030, but UNEP says Beijing met that goal last year

United Nations Environment Programme Beijing Olympic Games: an environmental review

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Related external resources

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PDF fileGreenpeace Olympic environmental guidelines

Social sciences at the British Library

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