Houston Marathon: Third Year Running for Sustainability Initiatives

Mar 13, 2014 10:00 AM ET

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The Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) organizes one of the nation’s premier winter marathon event weekends, including race distances from Marathon and Half-Marathon to a 5K and a kids-only fun run. It is Houston’s largest single-day sporting event, with nearly 7,500 volunteers on hand to assist the 25,000 registered runners taking part in 2013. The course begins in Downtown Houston and winds through some of Houston’s most recognizable areas, welcoming an estimated 200,000 spectators. The event also includes the Ironman Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann EXPO at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

WM Sustainability Plan

The 2013 event marked the third year of Waste Management’s (WM) partnership with the HMC, focusing  on an intensifi ed and increasingly comprehensive sustainability strategy. The WM team worked with the  HMC on a multifaceted approach to increase recycling and diversion rates from the previous year by  managing the waste diversion program from start to finish.    • Before the event, the WM team developed an Acceptable Materials List for EXPO vendors, outlining  specifi c materials accepted in the event’s recycling and composting programs and listing prohibited  items.  • The WM team worked with the HMC to design clear, eff ective signage to be placed around the compost  and recycling receptacles. • The WM team trained race-day volunteers on waste program procedures at the aid stations along the  course.  • All material generated during the event weekend was sorted to ensure that it was placed into the  correct streams to get the highest value from these resources.

Green Outcome

The HMC’s dedication to sustainability was rewarded with a Gold Certifi cation from the Council for  Responsible Sport. The HMC earned 52 of the 55 credits sought.   As this yearly event continues to improve its overall sustainability performance and be awarded with  certifi cation from the Council for Responsible Sport, the partnership between Waste Management and the  HMC has become the operational means for achieving success. Waste Management looks forward to  partnering with the HMC in future sustainable event initiatives.