Half Marathon strives for zero-waste race

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Recycling bins at the Tauranga Half Marathon. Photo/supplied
Recycling bins at the Tauranga Half Marathon. Photo/supplied

Tauranga Half Marathon is one step closer to realising its goal of zero waste to landfill.

Of all materials discarded at the event on Sunday 96.8 percent were diverted away from ending up in a landfill.

This is up from 90.2% of waste diverted at last year's event bringing the Half Marathon ever closer to its "ambitious" goal.

Up to 5000 biodegradable cups from the drink stations were carefully sorted, as well as the coffee cups, smoothie cups and over 1000 banana skins, and made into a high quality compost.

The Tauranga Half Marathon also refused to hand out goodie bags, and ensured the race numbers were recyclable and the timing chips reusable.

Event manager Like Garea said from the outside the team had wanted the event to be environmentally sustainable.

"Everyone expects to see this at events now. The public want to see recycling being promoted and managed well.

"People are still amazed at what can be composted. Coffee cups, including the lids used on Sunday, were all 100 per cent compostable. Event the coffee grounds were hauled away by EERST at the end of the day," he said.

"Large events present great opportunities to positively influence the participants and spectators."

Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust (EERST), which managed recycling stations and helped the public sort material, said it was great news from an environmental perspective.

Marty Hoffart
Marty Hoffart

This was the second year EERST had become involved with the event.

"We wight everything at the end of the event on a digital scale, so figures are accurate," EERST chairman Marty Hoffart said.

"I'm really inspired by event managers like Luke because he's put everything into place to control what type of packaging and products vendors sell," Mr Hoffart said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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