LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Leftover Ironman sports drinks, supplements and snacks are supposed to go to charity. Instead cases of non-perishables ended up tossed in the trash. However, the discarded leftovers finally ended up in the right hands.
A southern Indiana non-profit organization received a tip that excess Ironman products were lying at the bottom of a dumpster. Among the items were supplements that fuel and rehydrate Ironman athletes and cases filled with water. There were also volunteer t-shirts that almost were hauled to a landfill.
"We just decided to put these shirts on to say hey, we volunteered for the IronMan to clean out their dumpster," said Paul Stensrud with Exit 0.
Stensrud doesn't mind putting in a little sweat equity, even if it means dumpster diving.
"We came across cases of the Power Bar drinks – unopened," he said.
In addition to the bottled water and sports drinks, Stensrud, the founder of Exit 0, a southern Indiana homeless outreach non-profit, discovered pretzels and unopened boxes of oranges alongside items with Ironman brands.
"A lot of these big events they just want to throw things out," Stensrud said. "When there's a community that's struggling and that's in need and many ministries as well just trying to get by."
Philip Lahave, an Ironman representative, wasn't sure how these leftovers up in a dumpster, but he countered that more than 20 palettes of products were donated to Move for Hunger.
"It certainly disappoints us when very good product discarded," said Lahave. "The reality is we make a concerted effort to try make sure that product gets in the hands of a local volunteer or non-profit based group."
For Stensrud, Ironman's trash ended up being a treasure trove for Exit 0.
"It's an incredible event, great organization," said Stensrud, "but what we would suggest is just contact an outreach to your local organization to find out where you can take these non perishable items."
An official with the Louisville Metro Health and Wellness said the seals aren't broken and the produce can be cleaned nonprofits can use whatever resources are available.