Feeds

Where there's brass, silver and gold ... there's also muck

The great Olympics clean-up challenge

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Sticky situation

In Cardiff, where the Millennium Stadium will be hosting football, the Chewing Gum Action Group (we are not making this up) recently handed out free wrappers to encourage Welsh chewers not to spit their gum onto the street. We don’t know what they did with the wrappers.

To drum up support for Cardiff’s war on gum, a local reporter used street-attached gum blobs as tiny stepping stones to lope from the railway station to Cardiff Castle. If you don't have tickets for the football, we cannot think of a better way to enjoy yourself in Cardiff this summer.

Used gum is not all bad: it has the property of making smoke particles stick to it. So it appears that by contrast with Cardiff, London doesn’t have enough gum on its streets because it has world-beating amounts of exhaust fumes.

London's airborne rubbish contributes to pollution levels that, for some types of particle, are now as bad as those in Beijing in 2008.

A specially adapted gritting lorry is spreading adhesive on our busiest streets to glue pollution to the ground, so be careful where you take a nap if you miss the last tube home. You can see Mayor Johnson’s Pollution Suppressor in action here.

Food for thought

The catering operation, where the clean-up problem is only just beginning, also gives rise to some Olympic-style remarkable statistics.

This is the world’s largest ever peacetime catering operation, which means the Olympics will create a big pile of food rubbish too.

Locog tells us that, quite apart from the stadia, there will be – numberbomb! - 800 spectator concessions featuring more than 150 types of dishes that “will showcase the great diversity and quality of British food".

The reputation abroad of British food partly accounts for the second part of the statement: “There will be 8,000 tonnes of waste, and 40 per cent of this will be food/food-contaminated.”

Not all graffiti will need to be washed off... Banksy's "Maid" at Chalk
Farm is always hard at work. Pic credit: Dan Brady CC BY 2.0

We are accustomed to seeing pictures of the Olympics organisers standing in front of the stadium in suits or being matey on the news with Jessica Ennis. But there has to be someone behind the scenes to make sure we don’t notice the mess we have made.

The Olympics "Rubbish Czar" is Jan Matthews, head of catering, cleaning and waste. She is in charge of 22,000 contractors, delivering 14 million meals between June and September and removing – stat attack! – 712 cubic litres of horse manure.

When she visited Vancouver two years ago for the Winter Olympics, the scale of the waste removal operation there persuaded this Red Adair of equine dung to get in training for the job and shed seven stone.

This means that if one of our relay runners were to eat a dodgy curry, she could undoubtedly step in at a moment’s notice on the anchor leg.

What a story! It would make Chariots of Fire seem like an afternoon playing gum hopscotch in Cardiff. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win
Redmond decides it won't replace Masters certifications, so lesser certs get more rigour
'Oh my god – Mark Zuckerberg wants to meet me'
'The Swiss have got no great interest in working with Apple'
Dammit, Foxconn: Where's our 1 MILLION-strong robot ARMY?
'Foxbots' just aren't good enough to take up the slack
Devs: Fancy a job teaching Siri to speak the Queen's English?
Spik propa lyk dis blud innit, ya get me?
Bankers bid to use offshore temp techies
WikiLeaks publishes Financial Services Annex to 50-nation Trade in Services Agreement
Hey! Where! are! the! white! women! at!? It's! Yahoo!
In non-tech jobs, that is – still mostly white men running Marissa Mayer's web biz
Non-techies: The cute things they say
'OK, smartass, the firewall is blocking the proxy server.'
Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN
Think of the children? I just did, says Dom Connor
Dream job ad appears: Data wrangler for Square Kilometre Array
Curtin University seeks extreme sysadmin for Murchison 'scope
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.