Waste Generated From Marathons

Waste Generated From Marathons

Singaporeans are increasingly taking up running, and marathons are being held almost every month. The common type of waste generated from marathons include: plastic bottles, paper cups, energy bar or gel packaging, and carton boxes. What happens to the waste generated from marathons? Are those waste that are recyclable being collected and sent for recycling?

We were at the East Coast Park a day after the Sundown Marathon was held on 28 May. Although most waste have been cleared, we still saw waste strewn along the beach. Pictures of the waste are shown below. We tried to contact the organisers of the marathon to check whether the waste would be recycled, but did not receive any reply.

The next time you participate in a marathon, do ask the organisers whether the waste generated would be recycled.


  • byMarcus Tay
    Posted August 15, 2011 9:51 am 0Likes

    I did ask 10 years ago for Standard Chartered and the letter came out in the straits time forum. In those early days, it was worse, we were not given paper cups for the drinks but small plastic bottles. Most of the runners can’t drink the entire bottle in the middle of a run and lots of water were wasted.

    Thus now, the use of paper cups saved us some water. Still, as you have pointed out, the plastic bottles should be recycled as large quantities are collected in one area.

    • byEugene Tay
      Posted August 15, 2011 2:56 pm 0Likes

      @Marcus, still checking with Standard Chartered on whether they are recycling the waste. Would supposed they are doing something, as they say that they are committed to sustainability.

  • byMarcus Tay
    Posted August 17, 2011 9:13 am 0Likes

    @ Eugene, do keep me updated? If they have no plans, I will write to them and offer them some help. I was thinking:
    a) Plastic may be too cheap in value to convince recyclers to run to a few water points to collect.
    b) Maybe then can offer to help SCM to identify the nearest public recycling bins so that their volunteers and trucks can just drop it along the way.

    At the end of the day, plastic bottles may just be too low in economic value to motivate recyclers or SCM to do something, I am sure someone else would want it if it was cans!! hahaha

  • byrachel
    Posted April 17, 2012 8:57 pm 0Likes

    Does singapore have statistics on the amount of paper cups we are wasting a year? This amount of waste is too scary to be ignored.

  • byUsws
    Posted December 17, 2019 11:14 am 0Likes

    The goodie bags, tees & medals are pretty wasteful too. Would people still run if these weren’t given out? It could bring down the participation fee.

Leave a comment