A 5K on a beautiful summer evening in an orchard, with food, games, and beer afterward. What could go wrong? For the runners, nothing. For the Zero Waste team behind the scenes? Plenty! Read on for how things could have ended in disaster, and how we recovered.
Billed as, “a weekend of peace, love, music, and running,” Run Woodstock is the largest RF Events race of the year. It also generates the most waste of the year, with enough work to keep the Zero Waste team busy from setup on Thursday through takedown on Sunday.
In 2016 we achieved 88% landfill diversion and filled a 40-yard recycling rolloff to the top. How could we improve on that? Read on to see what we did, and if it worked!
Sustainability Report: Hightail to Ale 5K
Date: May 5, 2017
Event company: RF Events, Ann Arbor MI
Location: Atwater Brewery, Detroit MI
# Attendees: 2,900 runners
Zero Waste Team volunteers: 4, plus basketball team members
Hightail to Ale is one of the “Thirsty 3” series that celebrates great beer, wine, and cider in southern Michigan. It takes place on the streets near the Atwater Brewery in Detroit, bringing several thousand runners out for a Friday night beer party with a 5K thrown in.
Waste comes mainly from the post-race party, where free beer is distributed to runners, and food trucks serve up barbecue and other local fare.
Last year the post-race waste hit us hard and fast, from the food trucks, water bottles, and thousands of cans of beer given free to finishers and sold to spectators. There was no time to weigh it, and the recovered cans disappeared from the recycle dumpsters the next day. We were determined to do better this year, despite the forecast for chilly temps and constant rain. How did we make out?
Continue reading “Hightail to Ale: Zero Waste in the Rain”