The Clean Air Run is a ZERO WASTE event!
What is Zero Waste?
Zero Waste is a circular systems approach to minimizing the amount of resources we waste. The goals are to send ZERO waste to the landfill or incinerator by:
Reducing the amount of products we buy so that we produce less waste.
Reusing and protecting products we buy to limit replacing them.
Recycling products we can no longer use to recapture those resources.
Why Zero Waste?
Eighty-seven bins of natural resources (wood, soil, water, oil, gas, etc.) go into creating one bin’s worth of products. It takes huge amounts of energy to produce those products, and when we throw them into a landfill, or burn them, we lose those natural resources. Then, we have to extract more natural resources to make more of that product.
Why is Zero Waste important for New Haven?
New Haven sends its trash to incinerators in Bridgeport and Hartford or into the sewage system to be burned, which releases many damaging toxins into the air we breathe. The City spends $85/ton of trash to dispose and haul our waste - resources that could be used elsewhere.
By reducing the amount of waste we produce, we directly decrease the amount of material sent to incinerators. That means our air quality is immediately improved.
How is the Clean Air Run Zero Waste?
We did our best to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reducing is the most critical step, because it prevents wasting energy on creating products. Most races create a lot of trash by providing disposable single use items, like bags, food containers, trinkets, and cups. We only bought what was necessary and made sure that what we did buy was either reusable or recyclable. We are also working with our partners to ensure they are reducing their waste too.
Reduce: Our registration packets were all online – no bags, no printing, no unnecessary material.
Reuse: Our Nalgene water bottles can be reused thousands of times instead of buying single use water bottles (and will save you $$).
Recycle: We are composting all our organic waste and recycling all paper, glass, plastic, aluminum, and cardboard (though we don’t expect to produce much because we already reduced!)
What is composting?
Composting is the natural process of decomposition and recycling of organic material into a humus rich soil amendment known as compost, which can be used as a natural fertilizer for gardening, agriculture, and urban trees and parks.
Why should I compost?
Transforming our organic waste into compost for urban gardens and farms, urban trees, and parks is another opportunity to improve the quality of New Haven’s air and soil.
In Connecticut, 31.5% of our trash is food waste, yard waste, and compostable paper. Only 8.6% of that is diverted from being burned.
New Haven’s 500,000 households alone produce ~200 tons of food waste every week.
Learn how to compost at home here.
Are you interested in a weekly compost pick up service (by bike)? Email Peel & Wheels: firstname.lastname@example.org.