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NYRR Announces Yearlong Commitment to Environment in Celebration of Earth Day

April 22, 2014

2014 TCS New York City Marathon recycling efforts to build on green initiatives totaling more than 340 tons to date

New York, April 22, 2014—In celebration of Earth Day, New York Road Runners (NYRR) announces its yearlong commitment to the health and sustainability of the environment, highlighted by the recycling and green initiatives surrounding its premier event, the TCS New York City Marathon.

“Earth Day is a symbol of respect for the health of our planet, our communities, and ourselves,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “We are so thankful for the green spaces throughout the five boroughs where our community members of all ages—from kids to seniors—can walk, run, and play every day. We are thrilled to be able to give back to the community through our extensive sustainability and recycling efforts surrounding our largest event, the TCS New York City Marathon, and more than 65 other events each year.”

NYRR has been working hard to “green” and follow eco-friendly practices by reducing waste, reusing resources, recycling materials at events, and raising environmental awareness among participants. Since NYRR’s recycling efforts began in 2007, more than 1.4 million pounds of material has been recovered and repurposed. Below is a breakdown of NYRR’s recycling and sustainability initiatives.


New York City Marathon

  • NYRR recycled more than 100 tons of material at the 2013 New York City Marathon:
    • Approximately nine tons of unused food was donated to City Harvest, helping feed the nearly two million New Yorkers who face hunger each year.
    • More than 26 tons of clothing was collected and donated to Goodwill, to be distributed and sold at Goodwill stores throughout the greater New York area.
    • The rest of the 65 tons of material was traditional mixed paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic recycled by Royal Waste Services.
  • Since 2007, more than 340 tons of material has been recycled and diverted from landfills at the New York City Marathon.

Weekly Races

  • In 2013, NYRR recycled more than 89 tons of material, equating to 85% of the waste generated by weekly races to be diverted from landfills. All discarded materials are sorted at a Royal Waste facility.


  • Event signage is reused or repurposed.
  • Event equipment and supplies are sourced from local vendors whenever possible.
  • Event registration and communications are online to limit printed materials.
  • Mass transportation is utilized during the Marathon—approximately 700 buses transport runners to the start in Staten Island, and 23,000 runners are transported via the Staten Island Ferry, which uses ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, also known as “clean fuel.”
  • Most participants in our weekly races use mass transit and/or walk to race sites.
  • Portable toilets for events are supplied by A Royal Flush and are made from post-consumer recycled plastic and utilize earth-friendly chemicals.

About NYRR 

Founded in 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization, whose mission is to help and inspire people through running.  NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, youth initiatives, school programs, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to run for life.  NYRR’s premier event, the TCS New York City Marathon, features an estimated 47,500 to 50,000 participants, from the world’s elite athletes to a wide range of recreational and charity runners, and is part of the World Marathon Majors, an alliance of the world’s six biggest marathons that determines each year’s top male and top female marathoner. To learn more, visit

Categories: Human Interest

“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg