Have you been to Disneyland or the Canadian side of Niagara Falls? Something you’ll notice is the absence of trash on the ground. This is significant considering the amount of traffic these two attractions get. Your event may not get that much traffic, but racers can generate a lot of trash. Think protein bar wrappers, water bottles, sports drink bottles, beer caps, beer bottles, zip ties, etc. Even a small race can generate a lot of trash and you need to have a plan for all this trash. If you are in a park you’ll need permission to use their trash services. If you are using city streets, check with the permitting authority and see if there is a fee for garbage service or if you will have to hire a waste management company. For road and mountain bike races clearly communicate where water bottles and other trash can be discarded. Should riders decide to ignore these instructions the chief referee should impose a penalty.
Even if not required by your city or town, recycling is a great way to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill from the event. Most people are happy to recycle if you give them the opportunity. Some waste management companies also provide recycling services. Many events that provide recycling at their events see a positive effect on their budget by not paying trash fees for the diverted waste. Some events are creating volunteer green teams to help people use the recycling receptacles correctly and ensuring that garbage gets placed with garbage and recycling gets recycled. Many recycling locations also now accept bike water bottles for recycling.
Taking environmental concerns one step further some events compost food scraps. While some waste management companies can provide receptacles for composting you may need to provide the man power. People are fairly used to recycling, but composting is a different matter. Most people aren’t aware of what food scraps can and cannot be composted. To make composting work this station needs to be manned with someone who is knowledgeable on composting to prevent contamination.
Bathroom facilities are an absolute necessity for an event. Having enough, well stocked restrooms are key to a good event for everyone involved, the community, the participants, and the spectators. Placement of restroom facilities is equally important. If your event is a marathon mountain bike race and you put all the restrooms at the finish line which is by the parking lot three miles from the start line you’ll have some upset participants and potentially an upset community when your participants are using the woods for bathrooms. If possible, try to place portable restrooms in the shade. Conveniently, some rental equipment companies rent both fencing and portable restrooms so you only have to deal with one vendor. Also, they should be able to estimate how many portable restrooms your event will need.