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Flirt with Dirt

Flirt with Dirt 5K/10K Sustainability Report

This event represented a first for Happy Planet Running – leaving the Zero Waste station unattended for an entire race. Yes, perhaps a more fitting title for this was Flirt with Disaster, but I don’t get to name the races. I’m just the Trashman.

How did this come about? A very fortunate event – the resumption of live races – combined with a shortage of volunteers and being double-booked on this particular day. But we had a couple of things going for us here. There were only about 300 runners signed up, the event was over quickly, and Flirt with Dirt has a history of producing very little landfill – like one small baggie’s worth. So we gave it a shot.

I set up a single station near the finish line, with a large bin for recycling, smaller ones for compostables and snack wrappers, and pails for landfill. Then I said a prayer and headed off to the other race I had that morning.

I came back to find everything in good order. Post-race sorting was minimal. I’m sure it helped that many, if not most, of the athletes go to multiple RF Events races, and thus are accustomed to our Zero Waste program. All the same, not something I would like to do again, if avoidable.

And the result? The top image says it all. Baggie for the third year in a row! Report below. (Click to enlarge.)

High Standards: Flirt with Dirt and Canton Liberty Run Sustainability Reports

After we wrapped up the waste collection at the Canton Liberty Run, I brought the tiny bag of landfill waste to show the RF Events staff. It was less than one percent of the total waste we collected. They were impressed as usual – except for one who seemed a bit disappointed. “It isn’t a baggie,” he said.

A similar event the week before DID result in all the trash fitting into a sandwich baggie. Now they want that kind of result every time. Tough group! Read about both events below.

Continue reading “High Standards: Flirt with Dirt and Canton Liberty Run Sustainability Reports”

Flirting with Zero! Flirt with Dirt achieves 99% Diversion

ONE BROKEN PINT GLASS. One discarded race bib. A few strands of masking tape. A few odds and ends. That was it for trash.

Sustainability Report: Flirt with Dirt 2017
Date: June 3, 2017
Event company: RF Events, Ann Arbor MI
Location: Lakeshore Park, Novi MI
# Attendees: 500 runners
Zero Waste Team volunteers: 3

Race Overview

Flirt with Dirt is a Saturday morning 5K and 10K through running and bike trails at a park in Novi. It’s part of the RF Events “Serious Series” that includes a half marathon (The Legend) and Trail Marathon (5 miles up to 50K).

This event is short and sweet; the 5K starts at 7:30 a.m., the 10K at 8:15, and it’s all over and done with by 10:30. It’s popular both with seasoned trail runners, (many of whom choose to run both distances) and families; the 10-14 age group had more 5K runners than most of the adult age groups!

Continue reading “Flirting with Zero! Flirt with Dirt achieves 99% Diversion”

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