The Corrib Classic 5K Race Went Green This Year

By City Councilor John Connolly
As published in The West Roxbury Transcript
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Every year, thousands of people participate in the annual Corrib Classic 5k Race, and even more join for the post-run celebration. While it is terrific to see so many members of the community come out to support local organizations and charities in West Roxbury, it also means a lot of empty plastic bottles and other containers.

Previously, these materials were simply thrown into the trash. That is why this year, my office joined together with the Corrib Charitable Trust Board of Directors, West Roxbury Saves Energy and Save that Stuff to turn this event green. By the end of the event, we were able to recycle a quarter ton of material.

Every time we recycle, we create jobs, save energy, preserve our natural resources and save money by keeping recyclables out of our landfills. Our effort at the Corrib Road Race is just one example of what we can do as a community to live more environmentally and economically sustainable lives. The challenges facing the health of our environment and the future of our businesses are mounting. Energy costs continue to rise, and mankind’s impact on the environment has become increasingly evident. Recycling is an important piece in an overall sustainability strategy that I believe Boston must adopt in order to remain a vibrant and healthy community.

As chairman of Boston City Council’s Committee on Environment and Health, I recently called for a hearing to explore placing street-side recycling receptacles throughout Boston in order to encourage people who are “on the go” to recycle. Collecting one-quarter ton of recyclable material at the Corrib Road Race shows that Boston residents know the benefit of recycling and are excited about participating. The more we recycle, the less waste we add to our landfills, and the more money the city is able to save.

Recycling at the Corrib Road Race is just another example of West Roxbury’s commitment to sustainability. Back in 2008, as a part of Mayor Menino’s effort to improve citywide recycling, West Roxbury began to participate in “single-stream recycling.” This program streamlined the recycling process, making it easier for households to recycle by allowing them to place all of their recycled material into one bin. Such a simple and easy change led to a drastic increase in the amount of material recycled in West Roxbury and throughout the city of Boston. Organizations like West Roxbury Saves Energy advocate for all of us to make small changes in our everyday lives, because together we can make a significant impact on the world around us.

The annual Corrib Road Race is the perfect example of what it means to live in a community that takes care of each other. Since this event began 17 years ago, it has raised more than $740,000 for the Corrib Charitable Trust. This fund donates money to a variety of local organizations, impacting the lives of countless West Roxbury residents. The hard work and dedication of this organization is remarkable. I am honored to have worked with them. Seeing thousands of my friends and neighbors come together to support this fund and the West Roxbury community was extremely humbling as well as encouraging. I am confident that as we continue to work together, Boston will remain a leader in the sustainability movement.