All sporting events need an army of supporters to keep participants fed, watered and safe from start to finish. This includes cleaning up afterwards.
Recently, Fibre Circle, a local recycling company, and a large team of volunteers helped to reduce the amount of race waste going to landfill by collecting and sorting thousands of paper cups, water sachets and other race litter during the Benoni Northerns Athletics Club’s annual marathon, half marathon and 10km race.
This year, Fibre Circle sponsored a team of cleaners and recycling sorters provided by Katlehong-based K1 Recycling under the leadership of Tshepo Mazibuko. The helpers were stationed along the route and at the race finish.
Seen sorting mountains of waste picked up from the route, the K1 Recycling team were supported by volunteers from Benoni’s well-known Litter Bugs, learners from Jeppe High School for Boys, St Dunstan’s College, Arbor and Farrarmere primary schools and the 9th Benoni Scouts. LC Packaging and Planet Care provided bulk bags, Mpact Recycling donated boxes and Plastics SA, the yellow Clean-Up SA refuse bags.
The waste was sorted by type, bulk-packed and sent on its way, leaving little to no trace of the mass participation event that had taken place just a couple of hours before.
Outdoor and sporting events by their very nature generate vast amounts of waste – from food, paper packaging, paper, cardboard boxes, tin, plastic and glass which must be gathered up and, where possible, recycled.
Over the past few years, the club has moved away from filling skips and sending it all to landfill. Instead, waste is separated at source and collected for recycling. This not only contributes to the environment but also to the economy, as businesses such as K1 Recycling can sell back the recyclables and support job creation.