Zero Waste at the Olympics: Good Work, but No Gold Medal



by Jim Motavalli

It’s easier to imagine a world without waste than it is to actually accomplish it. And that’s what the planners of the London Olympics are finding out—their vision doesn’t quite match the situation on the ground.

Zero waste is, at heart, a simple concept —“garbage” is treated as a resource, to be used as fuel or as raw material for new products, and any diversion to landfills or incinerators is reduced to a trickle. No country has achieved zero waste, but New Zealand is unique in setting it as national policy in 2001.

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