2012 Olympic park clear up

One of the most testing land remediation projects in recent history is on course to finish in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Cleaning the rundown site in the east end of London, which has been home to several industrial and heavily polluting firms, has proved as difficult as many had predicted

The works, all performed in the full glare of the world’s media, also aim to improve what has become a socially deprived as well as highly polluted part of the capital.

Atkins’ project manager for the site, Saphina Sharif, explained the site of the velodrome a stadium for cycling, was one of the hardest parts of the project at briefing last Friday (May 29).

The site was actually a waste tip which, included a large amount of arsenic, and proved an expensive task with costs of about £80m quoted for the venue’s final construction.

Atkins claims to have recovered 96% of demolition materials while sending just 10% of the site’s waste to landfill.

Mrs Sharif said more than ‘2m cubic metres’ of land remediation has been carried out with much of it done on site minimising the environmental impact and slashing the amount that would have been landfilled in the past.

Atkins also hopes to make its construction work a template for other games to follow and has produced a ‘temporary materials handbook’ for the builders of the 2016 games to follow.

Cleaning the site also required a huge amount of rubbish being removed from the waterways around the site.

This also included the ‘gentle’ electrifying and moving of scores of fish and other aquatic life before the clean up could get underway.

Luke Walsh

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