Will TCS WORLD 10k 2018 be greener?
Mar 22, 2018 — TCS 10k is organized by Procam International at Bengaluru every year in the month of May. Here is a snapshot of the waste audit of TCS 10k 2017. This waste audit data, also available publicly at https://tcsworld10k.procamrunning.in/resource/pdf/2017-docket.pdf, gives good insights on the total waste generated at this racing event accounting for all the waste generated at the venue and route. It also accounts for the waste generated in the days of pre-event prep and post event clean up. Please note that TCS10k is a 10km event and had 23,000 participants across various categories in 2017. Mumbai marathon 2018 had over 44,000 runners across various categories, the longest distance being the full marathon (42.2 kms).
The TCS10k waste also included 18000 ft of flex banners which, as per the report, were distributed to low income homes as a temporary roofing material. Damaged flex was sent to cement kilns for incineration. Flex is a non-recyclable material and is currently banned in Bangalore but implementation of the ban is lacking.
The comparison of the above numbers shows that the actual amount of waste in Mumbai marathon 2018 was probably significantly higher than the numbers on the waste audit as only the venue data was accounted for by the vendor. The route clean up was not managed by the vendor but mumbai municipal corporation workers. Also, it is worth noting that at 7 gms per bottle, the 830kgs of PET waste translates to about 1.2 lakh bottles, which works out to roughly 5 bottles per TCS10k participant. That would extrapolate to more than 2 lakh PET bottles for TMM 2018!
I thank the organizers, Procam International, for making waste audit data public and taking up many green initiatives at TCS 10k 2017 including water refill stations and biodegradable arecanut plates for post run hot food instead of disposable plastic or paper plates and engaging with a responsible waste vendor. Without these initiatives, the waste numbers will be even higher. However, the initiatives need to go mainstream in a big way to reduce the quantum of waste being generated at mega events. The waste footprint can be reduced further by cutting down usage of PET bottles, flex banners and general plastic. I hope that the upcoming TCS10k edition will be a greener one. And the learnings will carry on to other runs organized by Procam and possibly to Mumbai Marathon 2019.
Requests to Procam International to take the following steps for reducing waste at the upcoming TCS10k:
1. Refill stations on route with enough 20 ltr dispensers, reusable glasses and cleaning solution. This will minimize bottle usage on the route.
2. Finish line stations with dispensers and glasses only. No PET bottles at post-run food area.
3. No Styrofoam or banned disposable cutlery anywhere on route or inside the stadium.
4. Electrolyte to be dispensed in reusable glasses only. No tetrapaks please!
5. No flex banners, as they are banned in Karnataka.
6. Information outreach to runners - Including a snippet on green initiatives in race booklet, expo, mailer and social media.
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