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What London has done to try and achieve the first truly sustainable Games.

According to the Zero-Waste Events Protocol, published by London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited, when they submitted their bid for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, our aim was not just to host the biggest sporting event in the world, it was to stage the first truly sustainable Games.

It was said that minimising the impact of the waste which was attributable to the Games would be a vital challenge in fulfilling the promises on sustainability. An ambitious target was set to send zero-waste created within London’s Games venues directly to landfill, this is something that no previous Games has attempted before.

In order to achieve such an ambitious target it was clear that a wide range of expertise and guidance would be needed, all of this contributing to the ultimate aim which is to demonstrate to thousands of organisations manage their events and reduce waste.

The London 2012 Zero-Waste Events Protocol is designed to support and encourage best practice for managing waste at events associated with the London 2012 Games. It is produced by the London 2012 Organising committee (LOCOG) and supported by Coca-Cola, Worldwide Olympic Partner.

Greener Games

Throughout the 77-day Games-time period, The London 2012 Organising Committee has set a target to send zero-waste created within our venues directly to landfill.

Aiming to reuse, recycle or compost at least 70% of this waste, they will also pursue energy recovery or other treatment technologies in instances where waste could not be avoided.

By implementing the following action points to help reduce waste, they believe to maximise resource efficiencies:

  • reduce the amount of event waste created in the first place;
  • boost average reuse and recycling rates for eventsin the UK;
  • and demonstrate best practice in waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

This document has been published with a purpose to inform every other organisation responsible for hosting events across the country about what has been learnt and to help the United Kingdom become a world leader in events waste management.

The success in achieving this goal is down to all the organisations continuing to host events long after 2012.

First Steps

Zero waste to landfill is a philosophy which supports the reshaping of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. Waste is currently the result of a broken process but this process can be fixed.

In order to improve the waste management process at any event, it is important to understand the waste which occurs at events. Ensuring you know what it is, where it comes from and where it will go.

The promise made by the London 2012 Organising Committee to reuse, recycle or compost at least 70 per cent of our Games-time waste could not have been made if they did not understand the type of waste they will be dealing with during the games.

Top tips for your Waste Audit

The London 2012 Zero-Waste Events Protocol suggests:

  • Identify the types of waste you expect – use the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) Resource Management Plan (RMP) tool for event organisers. This is a free resource to help event organisers identify the types of waste generated at any event and create an action plan for reducing and managing event waste. See Resources, page 21.
  • Apply the waste hierarchy – plan to reduce the amount of waste that will be created, reusing, recycling and composting before other disposal options.
  • Consider how best to collect your reusable, recyclable, compostable and non-recyclable waste – location of bins and/or litter pickers?
  • Find out where your waste normally ends up: does it get reused or recycled; could it be recycled loser to home; could you create a financial return from your waste?
  • If possible, measure your baseline (for example, weight of materials/visual  inspection of bins) so you know what changes have been successful.

Additional help can be provided by WRAP Event Tool.

Links for further information, support and advice can be found on Page 21 of the London 2012 Zero-Waste Events Protocol, they are also interested to hear about your success, you can do so by emailing or join in the conversation on

The usage of Waste Management Services

GPT Waste is the largest independent provider of waste management solutions across the UK, providing sustainable waste services for its clients.

With over 400 service providers located nationally we deliver a fully compliant offering for all trade, commercial, confidential, hazardous, healthcare and construction waste, whilst delivering client specific focussed efficiencies.

Waste… a burden or resource?

If companies looked at waste as a resource and not as a problem it would be significantly easier to reduce the impact and cost of waste, and may present an income opportunity.

  • The UK produce over 400 million tonnes of waste annually
  • UK waste output is growing at over 3% per annum
  • Legislation now dictates that companies should be more responsible for their waste
  • There are now over 1300 pieces of environmental legislation
  • Your company can be fined for improper waste management
  • Company waste can be turned into a resource if disposed of correctly

Our services:

  • We work in consultation with your company to understand your requirements in order to provide the waste solution you need.
  • Working with a national service provider database we ensure all waste management services are fully compliant.
  • Using the most up to date methods of recovery and recycling our nominated service providers sort waste collected from commercial and industrial customers, and extract all the recyclable elements.
  • Extracting the recyclable elements from mixed commercial waste reduces the tonnage going to landfill thus reducing your landfill tax liability (scheduled for 33% increase year on year) – saving you money and improving your environmental impact.

For further information on GPT Waste Management Ltd, please view work case studies here.


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