CORVALLIS, Ore. - The combined efforts of Oregon State University Campus Recycling and da Vinci Days organizers helped divert an estimated one ton of waste from area landfills generated by the popular Corvallis festival.
Officials say these efforts pave the way for festivals to eventually become zero waste events.
This July, OSU Campus Recycling and da Vinci organizers launched their waste-reduction initiative to impressive results:
• Festival per-capita trash was reduced by 43 percent from the prior year;
• One ton of waste was diverted from the landfill;
• Measured by volume, 28 percent of the total waste stream was composted and 36 percent was recycled;
• An estimated attendance of 20,000 persons generated only one six-yard dumpster of landfill-bound trash by diverting 78 percent of its volume to composting or recycling.
OSU Campus Recycling has released a report detailing the results, methods used, and goals for 2011, which is available to download on their website, http://recycle.oregonstate.edu.
"The purpose of the report is to not only share the results of our efforts, but also provide a resource to other organizations that are considering working toward a goal of zero waste," said Andrea Norris, outreach coordinator for OSU Campus Recycling.
Organizers worked with EcNow Tech, a local business that sells compostable food service products to assist vendors in sourcing plant-based plastics. Compostables and recycling were picked up and processed by Corvallis' waste hauler, Allied Waste. By bringing food vendors into the conversation early, 100 percent participated in the effort.
Collection and volunteer coordination was managed by OSU Campus Recycling, which included Norris and Pete Lepre, recycling program manager. Boy Scout Troop 163 managed the maintenance and sorting of bins, and more than 70 Green Team volunteers helped staff recycling stations to assist and educate festival attendees.
da Vinci Days executive director Brenda VanDevelder said the festival's creative spirit was a good match for the project.
"Graphic artist Mike Fairchild created our iconic monsters to make it fun to differentiate between trash, recycling and composting bins," she said. "We hope to inspire other local events to use the monsters and be creative with the educational process."
The monsters are Lil Eddie for trash, Miles for recycling, and Denson for composting.
OSU Campus Recycling offers recycling services for events taking place on OSU's Corvallis campus and leads the way in modeling sustainable events to OSU and the community. In March it coordinated an entirely waste-free event with the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and last week it helped the OSU New Student Picnic serve food to more than 2,000 students while producing just 23 pounds of trash - only 4 percent of the event's waste stream.
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