So how did we wind up inquiring about Seattle Marathon recycling practices? It all has to do with that photo, taken Sunday at the South Transfer Station in South Park, where WSB’er Shellie was disturbed by what she and her husband saw: “2 large Penske trucks showed up and dumped SEVERAL cases of bottled water, unopened with plastic still wrapped around cases, into the large waste hole instead of recycling them.” She said her husband was told they were from the marathon earlier in the day. After she sent us the photo and note on Monday, we inquired with marathon management, which replied yesterday, promising to look into it, and then forwarded this response from the course cleanup coordinator today:
I recycle every day at home and at work but with the marathon this year it was almost impossible to separate the recycling from the garbage. Your reader did see plastic bottles still in the plastic wrapper which is not recyclable but they were all empty. That is how the water stations open and leave the bottles. They definitely were all empty as I was the one at the transfer station.
For next year my recommendation will be to have all water stations separate recyclables and garbage. We would need clear plastic bags to know the difference. We use two trucks now so one could be garbage and one could be recycle. It definitely bothered me also to not recycle but once it was all mixed I just didn¹t have any choice but to dump everything so that we could get the trucks back to memorial stadium for equipment pick up.
Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the management to make this happen. I am confident we can do a better job next year without incurring a lot of extra costs with the separation of waste and recycling at each and every water station.