Environment Health News

Taking Waste Out of the Race

Limerick’s Zero Waste Race kicks off this Sunday, 7th October, in conjunction with National Reuse Month. The Urban Run will be Limerick’s first zero waste 10K, and the goal is to eliminate plastic bottle waste.

Zero Waste Race is part of St. Michael’s Rowing Club (SMRC) Urban Run and is being organised alongside Limerick City and County Council this year as part of the county’s commitment to the national environmental campaign Reuse Month. Denver, US, hosted the world’s first ‘No Waste 5km Race’ last month and now Limerick are bringing the initiative transatlantic. The 10K is one of several events taking place over the next few weeks aimed at promoting the campaign’s mantra – repair, remake, reimagine.

The after effects of last year’s run inspired SMRC members to suggest the zero waste initiative for this year. What was a very successful run was followed by a very big cleanup. Those taking part in the cleanup remember the abundance of discarded plastic bottles, most half full, that had to be collected throughout the course. Club Captain Brian Richardson felt there had to be a solution to reducing the senseless waste and contacted Limerick City and County Council’s Environment Awareness Officer for guidance and assistance.

A pragmatic strategy to achieve the run’s enviornmental objective has been formulated under five main points:

1. All serious 10km participants have been asked to bring their own self watering pouches

2. There will be no water station on the 5km route

3. The 10km race will have one watering station at the halfway mark

4. SMRC volunteers will man the 10km watering station and #RunReuseRefill glasses will be filled and used at the stand. Reusable glasses will then be collected into large skip bags.

5. These reusable glasses, supplied thanks to Limerick City and County Council investment, will be returned and washed for reuse at the SMRC clubhouse and will be used as part of other volunteer events

Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr James Collins commended the innovative action taken by St. Michael’s Rowing Club to challenge waste management, saying: ‘This is a fantastic initiative and it combines two important aspects of our lives – keeping fit and helping to keep the environment clean.’

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