Race recycling at the 2009 Silver Comet Half-Marathon a great success, even if it was a bit wet!

Race recycling at the 2009 Silver Comet Half-Marathon

We set up cardboard recycling containers from B Green Services along the race course just beyond the water stop tables; at the bottom, I'm holding my very small bag of trash leftover after bagging up four large sacks of paper cups and plastic water bottles!

Wow – recycling at Atlanta’s road races has been an ambition of mine for quite some time and yesterday, thanks to our volunteers and B Green Services recycling, we managed to recycle paper cups and plastic water bottles for 2,025 runners and dozens of race volunteers for the Silver Comet Half-Marathon! We have been preparing and strategizing our approach to recycling at this eco-friendly race for several weeks, starting with printing flyers on recycled cardboard for the race goodie bags, to silkscreening B Green Services t-shirts on a variety of recycled thrift store purchases, to cajoling volunteers to come out at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning for a noble cause.

With the start line, finish line, and four water stops along the out-and-back course, we divided up pop-up cardboard recycling bins, trash bags, plastic gloves, and breakfast food for each stop. We met at 5 a.m. at the race start line at the Mable House where we set up bins for the runners and volunteers at the start before heading out to our respective water stops. We led my Dad (my #1 volunteer) to the first water stop and Zack (my other #1 volunteer) dropped me off at the second water stop while he headed onto the third (Angela and Brooke took the fourth stop). Ingrid and Emil worked the start and finish lines and my Mom came out to water stop one to help out, too. I had the pleasure of working with Anne and Jim Baker for the duration of the race as the lead coordinators for our water stop! Anne is a brave soul who teaches eighth graders at Floyd Middle School and helped guide the groggy teenager volunteers in their water stop duties that morning.

Within the hour, it started drizzling which then became a bit of a downpour which then subsided to a steady rain and then… you get the idea – it rained pretty much the entire morning. But everything held together beautifully, the kids did a great job handing out water and prepping cups, and the runners had better aim than I expected when recycling their paper cups. As someone who has never actually watched a race before (usually I’m on the receiving end of the water), it took some adjusting to get used to being on the other side – and we had a lot of fun!

When all was said and done, we had four big bags of recyclable material and less than one cubic foot of trash going to a landfill. Zack had slightly more trash at his water stop, but that’s because someone brought Dunkin Donuts for everyone. 🙂

Thank you to everyone that came out and helped – B Green Services recycling volunteers as well as Silver Comet Races and Get Fit Atlanta volunteers – for a soaked, successful race day! You can also check out more photos on facebook…

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