Before construction on the 2.5 square kilometre site Olympic Park could begin, the ODA undertook the most extensive and sustainable clean-up operation ever seen in the UK.
More than 200 buildings across the Olympic Park site were demolished, with 98% of the materials, such as stone and bricks, reclaimed to be reused or recycled on site or elsewhere. Buildings with relatively new steel-framed structures were taken down by hand so that the materials could be reused. One building in the west of the Park was reclaimed and will form part of the new Energy Centre after the London 2012 Games.
The majority of utility networks (water, gas, electricity and telecommunications) were disconnected, removed or diverted, ready for brand new infrastructure to be installed. This new network will be the backbone for the future regeneration of the area after the Games.
Around 1.4 million cubic metres of soil was excavated, cleaned where necessary and reused on the Olympic Park to create a new accessible Park, with shallow gradients.
Before soil could be safely reused on site, samples were tested for levels of contamination at an on-site laboratory.
Five huge on-site soil washing machines washed and sieved out pollutants from the site's industrial past, including petrol, oil, tar and heavy metals such as arsenic and lead.
Read more detail about how the site was prepared in ‘Demolish, Dig, Design’, which set out what would be achieved by the Closing Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Games.