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Zero Waste Four Years Running! 2022 Dexter-Ann Arbor Run Sustainability Report

This year’s Dexter-Ann Arbor Run was back at its normal date of early June, with increased attendance and a perfect day for running. And for the fourth consecutive year, we achieved over 96 percent landfill diversion, qualifying it per ZWIA [1] guidelines as a true “Zero Waste” event! (90% Diversion is considered Excellent and 95% is considered World Class.)

Waste streams included:

  • Cardboard, plastic wrap and water bottles from the finish line;
  • Disposable cups from the aid stations and food tents;
  • Food waste and pizza boxes from the food tents;
  • PPE (disposable gloves and masks), and hundreds of Stinger and Gu wrappers, which all went to TerraCycle along with small plastics and race bibs.

Landfill was mainly tape, medical waste, and vinyl tablecloths used on the food tables. Overall, 1,174.4 lbs. of waste was generated at the start lines, aid stations and finish line / food tent areas. The 21.8 lbs. total landfill is our lowest to date.

As we expected a small number of morning volunteers, we set up just one staffed Zero Waste station on Main St. across from the food pavilion. Like last year, we set out “All Waste” boxes on tables and the Green Team did the sorting.

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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.
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Downtown Ann Arbor Turkey Trot Sustainability Report

Despite a chilly rain, the downtown Ann Arbor Turkey Trot 5K and kids run took place on schedule, with a good crowd on hand. And despite the conditions, the Zero Waste Team had its best Turkey Trot to date, with less than one pound of landfill!

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Bonfyre Trail Fest 2021 Sustainability Report

A chilly fall morning, with the promise of fires, live music, food, and beer later on? Sounds like a perfect setup for a trail run. And so it was, with 750 athletes traversing various distances on the DTE Energy Foundation trail system near Chelsea. Naturally, we had to make sure it was all environmentally friendly, and boy did we succeed, getting as close to Zero Waste as about possible.

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Back in Business! Waterloo G&G Bike Race Sustainability Report

April 17-18, 2021 – Portage Lake Recreation Area

A gorgeous weekend for a gravel bike race. So nice, it went both days instead of just Saturday. Perhaps a certain park capacity limit due to a certain lingering ‘situation’ contributed to that, but I didn’t see anyone complaining.

The Epic Races Zero Waste effort picked right up where it left off, recycling or composting just about all of the event-generated waste. It would have been nearly zero except for a couple of boxes wrapped heavily in packing tape due to their weight.

We set up a single station near the bike racks.

In addition to recycling and composting, our “Free Stuff” box (see the corner) resulted in some castoff clothing and water bottles from previous races getting new homes.

There were a few procedural changes. There were no formal post-race parties. Instead, bags of snacks were created for each rider and placed by their station for pickup after they finished. So overall waste was down significantly, as most people left with their treats, but there was enough waste to make it worth the effort. And a Bearclaw Coffee truck was there as usual, and a hot dog stand on Saturday.

Results below. A good start to what will hopefully be a good year!

Ann Arbor Track Club Salutes Zero Waste at its Flagship Event

The Dexter-Ann Arbor Run, a half-marathon put on by the Ann Arbor Track Club (AATC), has been held annually since 1974 and draws thousands of runners each year. As with any event that size, it generates a lot of waste.

In 2018 AATC approved a Zero Waste initiative for the race, and landfill waste was cut from several thousand pounds to just 28, and just 23 pounds in 2019. Happy Planet Running was proud to be a part of this effort. In its newsletter, the “Rundown” the club recently recognized and applauded the program. See the excerpt below. Great stuff!

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Strong and Sustainable: Women Run the D Zero Waste Report

The women came to Belle Isle to celebrate their strength and run in the beautiful park. A little bit of inclement weather didn’t dampen their enthusiasm! And the Green Team was there to make sure we left the park cleaner than we found it, with as little as possible going to landfill. After the heat and yellow jacket invasion of last year, did we have the fortitude to get it done? Bee-lieve it!

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Waste-free, Trouble Free: Ann Arbor Firecracker 5K Sustainability Report

“How are things going, Jeff?” someone asked me during this year’s Firecracker 5K.

“Really well,” I replied. “In fact, it’s going so well I’m worried!”

I was only half joking. I’ve worked too many events that seem to be going well, only to be hit with some hidden unpleasant surprise (for instance, volunteers filling up the Starbucks recycling bins with food waste). But all went smoothly, even though we had to clear out quickly for the 4th of July downtown parade. Read on for how we dealt with it!

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The Forth is With Zero Waste! Upland Hills 5K/10K Sustainability Report

A fun little trail race that also shows no matter how small the event, you can make it sustainable and cost effective!

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