Waterloo G&G 2023 Sustainability Report

Tris4Health kicked off their race season with the Waterloo G&G race in the Portage Lake Recreation Area. This is a gravel bike race offering 50K and 100K distances, including a trip through a working gravel pit(!). And for those looking to get in a quick fun ride, there’s a non-competitive 10-mile option. And all of it Zero Waste!

As like 2022, Smokehouse 52 provided post-race BBQ, and there was a tent selling beer as a charitable fundraiser. With the early chill transforming into a warm afternoon, a lot of the cyclists stuck around to enjoy the weather and the food. Well earned, as it was muddy out there!

I set up the Zero Waste station between the beer area and the BBQ tables. The beer area got a 96-gallon cart for cans and All Waste boxes for food waste and standard recyclables, which I regularly policed and swapped out.

There was one big improvement over last year. The Smokehouse 52 truck was already using compostable plates and serving sauce in squirt bottles, but last year they gave out plastic-wrapped disposable utensil packs. By giving them compostable sporks we eliminated those, allowing everything to go straight into the compost cart, which saved our small team a lot of messy extra sorting.

While Smokehouse 52 packed out their trash (unsorted), I offered to take the stacks of disposable aluminum pans they served the food in. This required me to soak them after the race to remove the grease and the crusty mac & cheese. It took some work to get them all (80 pans) clean, but it’s over and done with. Not sure if I will make the same offer next time.

Thanks to my volunteer, my good friend Dave, who pitched in and worked with me the entire day. His help was very much appreciated (and needed).

Last year this was the first event HPR served for Tris4Health, followed by the Ugly Dog Gravel Tri. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been recruited to do Zero Waste for their entire series in 2023, including the Grand Rapids Tri and the newly (re)created Grand Rapids Gran Fondo. Looking forward to a great year!

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