Houston Marathon: Third Year Running for Sustainability Initiatives

Houston Marathon: Third Year Running for Sustainability Initiatives

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Article

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 
• 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 
• 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.