Ironman Beefs Up Waste Management Efforts

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Photo: Flickr/MACCALIVE

Impressive waste management efforts will join the impressive athletic performances at Ironman events. Photo: Flickr/MACCALIVE

For decades, the Ironman triathlon series has been a symbol of endurance, athleticism and hard work. This year, the events will be just as incredible but a little easier on the environment, thanks to a partnership between Waste Management and World Triathlon Corp.

Through the partnership, Waste Management will provide environmental sustainability strategies to Ironman events throughout the United States, including its World Championship race in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, tomorrow.

Ironman COO Shane Facteau said that it’s important for Ironman to be “environmentally responsible and take care of the cities that host our events” and welcomes the opportunity to reduce waste even more.

Waste reduction efforts employed through the partnership include controlling materials allowed into the event to ensure they can be reused, recycled or composted; using volunteers to educate race attendees; monitoring recycling and compost bins; engaging the community and communicating goals to stakeholders; tracking carbon footprints; and reporting on sustainability efforts.

“We will work closely with the Ironman event organizers to develop creative solutions for reducing waste and to increase recycling at each race,” Tom Carpenter, a director in Waste Management’s sustainability services division, said in a press release. “The Ironman events, which attract spectators and participants from all over the world, are a great way to showcase the best environmental practices available today.”

Earlier this year, we told you about Waste Management’s successful partnership with the Phoenix Open PGA golf tournament — which drew more than 500,000 spectators but sent zero waste to a landfill. The event was also powered by 100 percent renewable energy and featured innovative gray water recycling systems.

In addition to reducing landfill waste, Ironman organizers hope the agreement will help them conserve water, employ alternative energy tactics and rally event-goers around the cause of reducing waste.

For more information on the 2013 Ironman U.S. Series, visit World Triathlon Corp. online.

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