Race is on for Marathon clean-up

More than 50,000 discarded plastic water bottles will be collected after this Sunday’s London Marathon, it has been announced today. Veolia and Westminster City Council said they would recycle almost two tonnes worth of the bottles during the 26.2mile race.

Special recycling bins will be situated along the route in the city to make it easier for the runners to dispose of their bottles. Any bottles left on the ground will be removed by Veolia's 40-strong street cleaning team which includes 23 manual sweepers and 14 vehicles.

Last year Westminster City Council’s cleaning contractors collected 12.5 tonnes of waste, including over 5 tonnes of recycling, in just an hour and a half – a record they will be aiming to beat this year.

Jarno Stet, Westminster City Council’s Waste Services Manager, said: “The London Marathon is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year and draws the eyes of the world to the capital. After the last runner has crossed the finish line, Veolia staff will be out in force to ensure that Westminster’s roads are cleared and back to working order in record time.

“Keeping our streets clean is a marathon not a sprint, and in partnership with Veolia we work hard to meet the high standards people expect while ensuring that everything we collect is either recycled or converted into low carbon energy to power London’s homes.”    

The organisers of the London Marathon will be ably assisted by local volunteers in making sure everything runs smoothly on the day. Westminster City Guides, who volunteer at major events throughout the year, will be stationed at Westminster Tube Station and Horse Guards Parade to hand out spectator guides and provide information.

The marathon route runs from Temple Place down Victoria Embankment to Bridge Street, across Parliament Square and into Great George Street. The runners then pass along Birdcage Walk and past Buckingham Palace before finishing on The Mall.

Vincent Masseri, Veolia's Contract Manager for Westminster, said: “Every year our dedicated team is fast out of the blocks ensuring the streets of Westminster are returned to their usual high standard of cleanliness as quickly as possible, while also recycling as much as we can of the waste we collect.”