Thou­sands of bot­tles re­cy­cled at Olympic venues will go to in­ner-city legacy

Cape Breton Post - - THE ENVIRONMENT -

VAN­COU­VER (CP) — Re­duc­ing, reusing and re­cy­cling just might qual­ify as an un­of­fi­cial demon­stra­tion sport at the Van­cou­ver Win­ter Games.

Olympic of­fi­cials have com­mit­ted to mak­ing the event car­bon­neu­tral, and the city of Van­cou­ver has hired bin­ners to short through the mounds of Games garbage for re­cy­clables.

Now bot­tles from bev­er­ages con­sumed at Olympic venues dur­ing the 2010 Games will go to build and op­er­ate an out­door sports court in the city’s pover­tyrid­den Down­town East­side.

It’s a $350,000 in­vest­ment in the in­ner city.

Olympic spon­sor Coca-Cola an­nounced Mon­day that they will also turn the re­cy­cled plas­tic into to­ques, scarves and vests to go back to the Ray-Cam com­mu­nity cen­tre.

Ni­cola Ket­tlitz, gen­eral man­ager of the Coca-Cola Olympic Project team, told a crowd near the com­mu­nity cen­tre that a bev­er­age bot­tle has a long life af­ter the drink is done.

“ You can turn it into an­other bot­tle, you can turn it into cloth­ing, like the ones I’m wear­ing, or you can turn it into a sport court.”

Stand­ing in front of a gi­ant artist’s ren­der­ing of the sport court, 18-year-old James Nak­nakin told the me­dia the en­tire com­mu­nity is ex­cited about the project.

“This is like the Su­per Bowl to us right now,” he said grin­ning. “This is big thing and I’m glad to be a part of this.”

Nak­nakin was on the project’s com­mu­nity ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee and said noth­ing would have been built without the spon­sors.

“It’s a great hon­our to have peo­ple lend a hand and help us out.”

There are about 6,000 reg­is­tered mem­bers at the Ray-Cam Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. Ninety-eight per cent of them are low in­come and about 45 per cent of those live be­low the poverty line.

Mary McNeil, the B.C. Min­is­ter of State for the Olympics, said get­ting more peo­ple in­volved in com­mu­nity projects like the one an­nounced Mon­day ex­tends the legacy of host­ing the Olympics in Van­cou­ver.

“The Games have been a cat­a­lyst, but they alone are not the end re­sult. It’s what we do af­ter­wards that makes the dif­fer­ence.”

The sports fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to be open by early fall.

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