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Happy Planet Running

Run a great race. Leave no trace.

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Island Lake Rec Area

T-Rex Triathlon Sustainability Report

The 2021 triathlon season is over at RF Events, and a successful one despite the ongoing uncertainty. And there was no doubt about the Zero Waste success, with every event achieving over 95 percent landfill diversion.

Of the four triathlons in the T-Rex series, this one is the most challenging because it gets dark before the event is over, making takedown more difficult and effective waste sorting impossible. So the aid station bags and the last-minute site cleanup trash must be taken care of the next day. At least the mosquitoes are there to keep us moving.

The total waste from the event. FYI, this is about half of what it was five years ago!

With volunteers “dropping likes flies” as a staff member put it, I was a one-man Green Team, so I made some adjustments. The food area station was set up in the shade instead of using a canopy, and I used a 96-gallon cart to carry its supplies and hold the collected waste at takedown. In the finish line water bottle area I picked up the plastic wrap and cardboard periodically instead of leaving a bag there, which saved digging out contamination later. Transition remains a work in progress, but the “All Waste” boxes at each end seem to work better than trying to set up a sorting station there.

Aid station bags were in fairly good shape, but the mixed cardboard/water jugs and loose items made for a sloppy loading. For future events I’ll ask if they can stack the cardboard and bag the other items. Also, somehow plastic forks wound up at the food table. We can recycle them, but they had to be carefully sorted from the compostable sporks we usually use.

Even with the challenges, we achieved another spectacular landfill diversion rate!

The Roar Restored: RF Events Stegosaurus Tri Sustainability Report

The RF Events T-Rex series of triathlons is finally back in business, and kicked off June 2 at the Island Lake Rec Area with its brand-new fourth in the series, the Stegosaurus! Despite a cold, rainy afternoon fit for neither man nor dinosaur, several hundred eager athletes braved the weather for a half mile swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 5K run. And, as usual, Happy Planet Running was there, keeping the event Zero Waste.

One new development was the absence of park trash cans. This worked out well, since there was no confusion about where the athletes would stash their trash. Our Zero Waste Station model changed as well, replacing the scattered tent & bin approach with one main station with sorting done real-time. Transition had one pail at each end for all waste, and the finish area had one recycling bin and a bag for plastic wrap. With overhead reduced, one person was able to manage the situation.

Below is the report (click to enlarge). We continue the grand tradition of less than five percent landfill at these events!

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