Olympic Park soil-washing complete and 'green build' on track

(Press release Olympic Delivery Authority:) London, 10 June 2010 - The ODA has announced, during London 2012 Sustainability Week, that nearly two million tonnes of contaminated soil has been cleaned for reuse on the Olympic Park in the UK's largest ever soil-washing operation.

The green clean-up of the 2.5sq km Olympic Park, much of it contaminated through decades of industrial use, has consistently beaten its tough sustainability targets since it began nearly four years ago. The ODA also published this week a map showing the 'green build' of the Olympic Park venues and parklands is on track and details of the London 2012 sustainable transport plans.

Five soil-washing machines have successfully completed cleaning most of the one million cubic metres of soil contaminated with oil, petrol, tar, cyanide, arsenic and lead. Over 80 per cent of contaminated soil has been cleaned for reuse on the Olympic Park using soil-washing, bioremediation beds (large-scale composting) and sorting machines, and over 98 per cent of demolition materials on site have been recycled.

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: 'Delivering one of the UK's most complex and greenest clean-up operations on time and on budget is a major milestone. With the soil washing complete the focus now moves on to the 'green build' and ensuring sustainability remains at the heart of our work to deliver the venues and parklands for the Games and legacy.'

Cleaning and clearing the Olympic Park factfile

  • Winner of Institute of Civil Engineers award for greatest contribution to London (2010), Regeneration & Renewal award (2009), and Brownfield Briefing Innovation Award (2008).

  • Nearly 3000 site investigations carried out to investigate contamination on site since October 2006 with nothing unexpected uncovered subsequently.

  • More than 220 buildings demolished with 98 per cent of the materials by weight recycled, well over the 90 per cent target.

  • Over two million cubic metres of earth moved to form the platform for the Olympic Park 'big build'.

  • Over 80 per cent of one million cubic metres of contaminated soil cleaned and reused on site using innovative techniques including soil washing and bioremediation (large scale composting).

  • Over 20 million gallons of contaminated groundwater which existed on the Olympic Park treated using innovative techniques including treatment to remove oil and ammonia, injecting compounds into the ground which generate oxygen which in turn breaks down harmful chemicals, and controlling the movement of groundwater to prevent contamination entering local rivers.

  • Over seven million hours worked.

  • Ten football fields cleared of invasive Japanese Knotweed.

  • Eight steel-framed buildings reclaimed for business reuse.

  • Over 5km of riverbanks replaced or refurbished and 30,000 tonnes of silt, gravel and other materials dredged from the rivers.

  • 140 archaeology trenches uncovering the pre-historic, Roman and Victorian history of the Olympic Park.

  • An ecologic action plan to protect habitats and wildlife including translocating 4,000 smooth newts, 100 toads, 300 common lizards and creating over one hectare of new wildlife habitat on Hackney Marshes.

  • Further small pockets of contaminated material already identified and arising during the 'big build' will be reused on site wherever possible with minimal materials taken off site.

The Olympic Park 'green build' factfile

  • The Velodrome is almost 100 per cent naturally ventilated and uses natural light to reduce energy consumption and rain water will be collected from the roof for flushing toilets and irrigation.

  • The Olympic Stadium's roof truss was made out of unwanted gas pipelines and recycled granite from King George V docks was used for the Stadium's river banks.

  • Water used to clean the swimming pool filters in the Aquatics Centre will be recycled for toilet flushing.

  • The foundations for venues and roads have used recycled materials and many of the venues and bridges will have green habitat spaces incorporated into walls and roofs.

  • To reduce the embodied carbon of venues on the Olympic Park, the on-site concrete batching plant supplies low-carbon concrete to all contractors working on the project.

  • Over 100 hectares of new parklands for people and wildlife with over 4,000 trees and over 300,000 wetland plants.

ODA Sustainable transport plans factfile

  • 100 per cent of spectators arriving at the Games by public transport or by walking or cycling.

  • Investment in permanent improvements to existing transport infrastructure and services including boosting capacity across the Docklands Light Railway and boosting capacity and accessibility at Stratford Regional Station.

  • Improvements to 80km of cycling and walking routes to the Olympic Park and just under 6,000 temporary bike parking spaces during the Games.

Notes to editors:

Further information: Olympic Delivery Authority Press Office on +44 (0)20 3 2012 700.

The construction of the venues and infrastructure of the London 2012 Games is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.