A Worm Welcome for Olympic Athletes
The Olympic Games about to kick off in Sydney will be the greenest ever. Many of the facilities are solar-powered, a water-recycling system is in place, the torch is energy-efficient, the plates and eating utensils are biodegradable, and 80 percent of the waste generated during the games is expected to be recycled or composted by millions of garbage-chomping worms. Still, Greenpeace, which has closely monitored the Olympic preparations, gave the Games only a bronze metal in its final report this week. The enviro group says the biggest disappointments are the air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, which rely on ozone-depleting chemicals and emit greenhouse gases, and the failure to adequately clean up Homebush Bay, the severely contaminated urban area on which many of the Olympic facilities have been built and which is set to become a permanent neighborhood for 5,000 people after the Games.