Nothing “Shady” Here! Island Lake Triathlon 2022 Sustainability Report

The first Epic Races triathlon for 2022 took place on a gorgeous morning with good water conditions. Several race options are offered, from mini-sprint to Olympic distance, with hot food, ice cream, and Smooj hard smoothies at the finish. Everything seemed to go smoothly, with no hidden trash cans to surprise me at the end. (Not that it’s ever happened.)

I set up one Zero Waste station in the post-race party area by the food tents, with All Waste boxes on tables facing front and rear. I put additional All Waste boxes at the two exits to transition, moving one to the Run ramp when I observed runners tossing cups onto the grass there. Aid station bags were reasonably well sorted.

I would never bet against a guy with a bike like that.

Main waste streams were cardboard, boxboard, cups and cans, and compostables. Total waste was on par with previous years when adjusted for attendance.

Most of the landfill came from the foil used to wrap the egg & cheese burritos (food residue) and the ice cream bar wrappers. There were also plastic mac & cheese bags with residual food in them. I could either add them to the landfill total, or rinse them out for recycling. Which option did I choose? Well, let’s just say the compost total went up by 3 lbs. and we reached 97 percent landfill diversion!

Many thanks to my volunteer Prachi, and her friends Karan and Amand who pitched in to help after they completed their events. Prachi is a psychology grad student. I wondered if she’d talk me into doing all the work without me noticing. But the photos prove otherwise. Good job, guys!

Holding down the fort: Prachi (left) and Karan.

One big surprise at the end: I saw someone pouring out full jugs of water, as they had no space at the warehouse to store it. I saved four cases (24 gallon jugs) to use at future events. I will ask them to tell me about this kind of thing next time.

Also, the transition area seemed to have more litter than usual. Additional All Waste boxes on the ends of the racks might reduce that.

P.S. The top photo is (from left): me and “Team Shady” consisting of my fellow athletes-in-crime Charlie (a.k.a. Shady), Renee, Morgan (with medal), and Steven.

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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