Diverting The World's Waste: Records Set in Atlanta

When preparing for the Summer Olympics, the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) faced the herculean task of recycling waste generated by more than two million visitors and 15,000 athletes for 17 days.

What appeared to be a tall order prior to the Games' commencement, in hindsight does not seem such an insurmountable task. At the time this article went to press, at least 50 percent of the 9,000 tons of waste generated by the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games was recovered and recycled.

With the hard work, planning and cooperation of literally millions of people; ACOG; Royal Recycling, Hamilton, Ont.; and Microlife USA Inc., Boston, Mass., this was the largest and most successful recycling effort ever attempted for a peacetime public event.

This Olympics also punctuated the International Olympic Committee's amendment to the Olympic charter in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme highlighting environmental stewardship.

World Wastes profiles the two recycling firms that organized this important Olympic first.