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July 14, 2008

Sherman helps reduce waste at Eno Festival

recycling station

Festival-goers, volunteers and vendors worked together to make this year's Eno Festival trash-free, and their efforts paid off. Of the 5,300 pounds of trash generated over the three-day event, 93 percent will never see a landfill. Instead, it will be composted or recycled.

The secret, according to Cooperative Extension's composting specialist, Rhonda Sherman, is for "everyone - vendors, event organizers and festival goers" to work together with a common goal in mind. Vendors signed a contract stipulating they would use compostable plates, cutlery and even straws and that they would avoid single condiment servings (those little foil packets)."

Festival organizers erected 12 trash recovery stations and staffed them with volunteers to help festival goers sort their trash into items they could compost or recycle and those that had to go into the trash. Those who attend the festival did their part by using the trash stations and even bringing litter they'd found on the way to the station.

Of the 5,300 pounds of waste generated, 93 percent or 4,929 pounds will not be thrown away. Instead, 70 percent will be composted and 23 percent recycled. Because of plastics and other items brought by attendees the event was not 100 percent trash-free, but 93 percent is, "an excellent recovery rate, especially when you consider that each North Carolina resident generates 1.34 tons each in a year," according to Ellen Lorscheider, in the state's Solid Waste Planning & Program Management Branch. Landfills are difficult to site, and construction costs are rising.

Sherman also states, "We've been getting calls from other event planners, asking how they can duplicate the Eno Festival's success. Composting is a wonderful way for large events and individuals to reduce the amount of waste they generate." This is the Festival for the Eno's 17th year of recycling waste.

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Posted by Natalie at July 14, 2008 08:20 AM