Olympic park developments have already delivered “impressive” environmental benefits according to Environment Agency (EA) chair Lord Chris Smith.
Smith today highlighted five key projects that showed the “green legacy” pledge of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is starting to bear fruit.
As well as waste minimisation these projects also included regeneration of polluted and industrial areas, a clean-up of the River Lea, creation of wildlife havens and decreasing flood risk.
More than 95% of demolition material from the construction of the site has been recycled. And more than 1.5 million tonnes of contaminated soil has been treated with around 90% of this being reused on the site.
Smith said: “The EA has worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority over the past five years to create an outstanding green legacy for the London 2012 Games.
“With a year to go, we have already made huge improvements to the local environment and are beginning to see wildlife thrive. Once completed, more than five miles of river and hundreds of hectares will have been created or rejuvenated, providing a refuge for wildlife for years to come.”
Among the improvements around 256 hectares of land have been cleaned up and made into wildlife havens. Some 45 hectares of the Olympic Park has been designated as species rich habitat with reed beds, wet woodland, grassland and ponds created to attract wildlife such as breeding birds, otters, and water voles.
Concrete and metal sheeting has been removed from the River Lea and replaced with natural banks and 300,000 wetland plants have been transferred there.