Organizers Try to Green Marine Corps Marathon | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Organizers Try to Green Marine Corps Marathon

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Tens of thousands will participate in the Marine Corps Marathon that meanders through DC and Northern Virginia Sunday. Race organizers say they're making sure to minimize its impact on the environment.

30,000 runners will surely affect the environment. Marathon runners throw extra clothing on the ground, along with empty cups and exhausted water bottles. But race planners say they're prepared for the cleanup, director Rick Nealis proudly touts the efforts he's making.

"Does the cost go up, sure?" he says. "There is a cost factor: a penny, two pennies, a dollar. But at the end, it's the right things to do."

He says two years ago organizers decided to make the environmental impact a major focus. Bruce Rayner, the man tasked with greening up the event, says the Marine Corps Marathon is leading the way in hosting environmentally friendly sporting events.

"They're firing on many cylinders, the waste, the climate. They're promoting health among youth," he says.

His goal is to recycle at least 50 percent of the waste produced. He says people will gather more than eight-hundred-fifty-thousand cups and send them to a commercial composter in Maryland.

Peter Granitz reports...

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