Ann Arbor Track Club Salutes Zero Waste at its Flagship Event

The Dexter-Ann Arbor Run, a half-marathon put on by the Ann Arbor Track Club (AATC), has been held annually since 1974 and draws thousands of runners each year. As with any event that size, it generates a lot of waste.

In 2018 AATC approved a Zero Waste initiative for the race, and landfill waste was cut from several thousand pounds to just 28, and just 23 pounds in 2019. Happy Planet Running was proud to be a part of this effort. In its newsletter, the “Rundown” the club recently recognized and applauded the program. See the excerpt below. Great stuff!


We would like to salute member Michael Linkevich, who is leading the AATC’s work toward conservation and green initiatives. According to Michael, in 2018 and 2019 The Dexter-Ann Arbor Runs have redirected over 98% of the waste generated on the courses and in the Finish Line area from landfills. The waste has been either recycled or composted. In 2018 this diversion rate was 98.3% and 2019 it was 98.9%. This waste fits into 1 bag.

When Michael took over the Trash and Recycling position (now Sustainability) we used 3 trash (i.e. landfill) dumpsters and 1 recycling dumpster. In 2017, we had 2 trash dumpsters and 3 recycling dumpsters. Since working with Happy Planet Running in 2018, we now order no/zero/nada trash dumpsters, 3 recycling dumpsters and 15 composting carts. Happy Planet Running has been able to direct us to facilities that recycle things that we didn’t know where to recycle in the past. For example, the wax coated paper cups (like the Gatorade cups) cannot be recycled with Ann Arbor Recycling because of the wax. Similarly, we didn’t know where to recycle GU packets or chip bags. Now we do. A 90% diversion rate is considered excellent and a 95% diversion rate is considered world class.

Michael’s focus now is how to reduce the waste generated. Last year the race generated 2086.1 lbs of waste on the course and in the start and finish line areas. Thank you Michael for heading up this important project!

Published by RunBikeThrow

By day, I'm a mild-mannered Director of Training at a software company in Ann Arbor, MI. By night - I sleep, mostly. In between, I do other things I feel the need to write about. Check out to view my thoughts on running, cycling, Aikido, and other things that keep me going.

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