What is it with idiots and recycling?

Indeed, two thirds of the steel used in the stadium’s entire roof is recycled, cutting construction costs by a cool half a million quid.

Something like two thirds of all steel is recycled you fool!

The metals industry has a recycling rate higher than just about any other: vast networks of scrap dealers all over the world collecting the stuff, chains of refineries that suck it in and process it. Because it\’s valuable and people can make a profit from it, naturally.

Hell, Nucor, one of the largest steel producers in the world, uses nothing but scrap as an input.

No waste will go to landfill, for the first time in any Games.

That\’s bollocks. There was some thorium contamination found on site. While it is possible to extract it no opne would be stupid enough to do so: hoick it into landfill and I\’m certain that\’s what they did do.

As The Sunday Telegraph has revealed, 350 tons of ore must be mined to produce each gold medal.

That sounds bloody strange.

If they were from virgin material that would still sound strange.

The London 2012 Olympic medals weigh 375-400g, are 85mm in diameter and 7mm thick.
– The gold medal is made up of 92.5% silver and 1.34% gold, with the remainder copper (a minimum of 6g of gold).

Gold ore these days is about 1 gramme Au per tonne ore. Ag and Cu are of course far, far higher than this. So quite where the idea of 350 tonnes of ore comes from I\’m not sure. 350 tonnes of rock moved, that might make sense, but not 350 tonnes of ore (for only a small portion of the rock you move to get at the ore is actually ore).

The precious ore for the medals has been supplied by London 2012 sponsor Rio Tinto and was mined at Kennecott Utah Copper Mine near Salt Lake City in America, as well as from the Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia. For the small amount of non-precious elements that make up the bronze medals, the zinc was sourced from a mine in Australia as well as from recycled stock, while the tin originates from a mine in Cornwall.

Although that does explain the 350 tonnes bit. They\’re mining copper at Kennecott and gold is only extracted as a byproduct. You wouldn\’t open that mine just for the gold in it. But if you calculate the ore moved to get the gold you\’ll vastly overstate what has to be moved, because you\’re ignoring the fact that you\’re getting vast amounts of copper at the same time as that small amount of gold.

I do understand why they do this: Kennecott gives the ore for free as a sponsor. But given that we\’re still recycling gold and silver from the Paharoahs, from the Temple in Jerusalem, as well as granny\’s gold tooth from her funeral last week, recycling copper from motors, power lines, telephone cables and ships\’ propellers, there is no necessity to produce from new at all. In fact, the recycling of all of these metals outweighs the new production.

The campaign draws on a drive by its other founder – Dale Vince, head of the green energy firm Ecotricity – to turn his Conference League football team, Forest Green Rovers, into the world’s most environmentally friendly.

The club has banned red meat for players and fans, installed solar panels, and established the world’s first organic football pitch, free of artificial fertilisers and herbicides and mowed by a sun-powered robot.

Doesn\’t that just sum up the tosspottery of these people?

13 thoughts on “What is it with idiots and recycling?”

  1. The “greenest games” would have been to have asked Beijing or Athens to do them again, as we could then reuse all the existing facilities that are sitting idle, rather than building more facilities that won’t get used.

  2. “…and established the world’s first organic football pitch, free of artificial fertilisers and herbicides and mowed by a sun-powered robot.”

    What’s ‘environmentally friendly’ about mechanisation? Isn’t it doing unskilled labour out of a job?

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    There was some thorium contamination found on site. While it is possible to extract it no opne would be stupid enough to do so: hoick it into landfill and I’m certain that’s what they did do.

    Look on the bright side, maybe they dumped it at sea. Definitely not landfill.

    But given that we’re still recycling gold and silver from the Paharoahs, from the Temple in Jerusalem, as well as granny’s gold tooth from her funeral last week

    There must be some loss of gold all the time. Pieces of eight sent to the bottom of the sea. Rings lost down drains. Teeth buried with Grandpa. Normal wear and tear on jewellery which slowly wears it thin. Japanese people who ate it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some atoms from the Pharaohs still in circulation, but I wouldn’t think there was a lot of actual real gold used at that time around today.

  4. “The London 2012 Olympic medals weigh 375-400g … Gold ore these days is about 1 gramme Au per tonne ore”

    So it would be around 350 tonnes of ore per medal, if a gold medal was actually gold.

    But then “The gold medal is made up of 92.5% silver”

    Says it all about the Games really – even the gold medals aren’t gold.

  5. There’s an entertaining, Lean based, activity can occupy the odd hour. Tracing back & identifying which PR handouts the man uses as source material for his columns. If I could only work out a scoring system, I might have the basis for a thrilling game to be played amongst friends.

  6. Green games? WTF

    All those bureaucrats, athletes, officials and spectators flying round the world? No doubt the bureaucrats flying business class as well.

    Then there’s the burecrats driving round in their chauffeur driven cars using Zil lanes which will cause even more congestion. (BTW I noticed on Friday morning they’ve just started painting them around Marble Arch this will be fun).

  7. The Olympics are a vastly expensive vanity project for interest groups and politicians that privilege the elect, even unto Zil lanes, and leave the taxpayers’ eyes bleeding.

    So Lean was broadly right: very Green.

  8. “The club has banned red meat for players and *fans*”

    How does a club ban something its fans do outside of the stadium?

  9. “mowed by a sun-powered robot. ”

    Did no-one tell the owner that football is played in winter? We’ve hardly had any sun this summer, goodness knows what winter will be like.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    Agammamon – “How does a club ban something its fans do outside of the stadium?”

    They have trouble enough trying to ban them doing things inside the stadium.

    10Surreptitious Evil – “How does an employer ban something its employees do outside work?”

    Well the British government bans some of its employees from joining a perfectly legal political party. Even if they do not engage in any related activities during work hours.

    Oddly this does not apply to those parties who take money from our enemies to undermine our national defence.

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