Glass City Marathon Green Team volunteers after Saturday's Savage 5k after-party.From recycling glass, aluminum, and plastic, to composting food scraps, pizza boxes, and cups, the Green Team made a huge impact during the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon race weekend. Between April 22-24, twenty-four volunteers helped keep trash out of landfills and diverted marine debris far from the Ottawa River.

2022 marks the seventh year that Partners for Clean Streams has coordinated the Green Team, and the first year that the Toledo Road Runners has offered exclusively compostable cups at all water stops throughout the multiple races. This change alone allowed us to divert hundreds of pounds of waste away from a landfill and to a composting facility. The Green Team also recycled full dumpsters of cardboard, seven rolling totes full of glass (thanks O-I for recycling), and dozens of bags of aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

Why do we coordinate recycling and composting during this event? The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon is closely tied to the Ottawa River. The starting line is on the Secor Road bridge over the Ottawa River, and the race course overlaps with the river at several places across Ottawa Hills and Toledo neighborhoods, and even in Wildwood Metropark. Recycling, composting, and proper trash disposal during this massive event allows us to prevent some of the marine debris that we tackle all year long. Changing habits like buying compostable cups (just like we choose to use reusable water bottles instead of single-use bottles) is a key practice in preventing misplaced trash.

Many thanks to our Green Team co-coordinators at Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful, to the University of Toledo Office of Sustainability for providing staff and supplies during race weekend, and to our Green Team allies for their help with trash management and cleanup: Goodwill custodial staff and Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

Thanks to everyone who made a donation or volunteered their time with us during race weekend! You can still support the Green Team by making a donation here.