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Olympic Stadium to become shelter for the developing world?

United Kingdom – Dow Chemical, which provided the panels and textile elements cladding the athletics stadium at the London Olympics, says the material will be recycled in the UK. The main aim is to produce shelters for use in Uganda and Brazil.

The group will participate in the project together with recycling company Axion Recycling and Article 25, a UK charity that designs and builds shelters in areas affected by poverty or natural disasters.

The elastomer panels and textile structures were designed for durability, flexibility and fire retardancy, but Dow also needed to meet LOCOG′s guidelines on sustainability. The company said it had conducted extensive performance and application testing over the last year and was able to identify several viable post-Games use options.

Through Article 25’€™s global charity network, Dow said it was now working with an institute in Brazil, Bola Pra Frente, to set up so-called ‘€˜shaded community’€™ areas in struggling neighbourhoods of the capital ‘€“ and host city of the next Olympics – Rio de Janeiro.

Article 25 added that the same sheltering solution would be provided for its Uganda partner, Jubilee Action, which was seeking to establish a vocational training and counselling centre for former child soldiers. ‘€˜These projects will build understanding about the importance of the use and reuse of materials in the global community,’€™ explained the charity’€™s CEO and Director of Projects, Robin Cross.

Additional recycling and reuse initiatives are slated for the UK as well. Axion Recycling Director Keith Freegard stated: ‘€˜We have already demonstrated that the stadium wrap can be recycled back into new plastic raw material in our Manchester factory. We look forward to developing other sustainable options for reuse of the wrap textile into beneficial applications in the Greater London region.’€™

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