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[greenyes] ZeroWaste events - a success story in Austin
I can attest to this zerowaste strategy working by using biodegrabale supplies from BioCorp or similar. I helped organize the Austin Earth Day Festival in 2001 for which we won local and statewide awards for being a model of sustainability. 
If my memory serves me we had an all-day fesitval in the park with about 100 exhibitors, 8 bands, 10 food/drink vendors, kids activities and 3-5,000 attendees we generated less than one cubic yard of trash. The rest was compost and recycling. 
From the food and locations selected for planning meetings to the solar-powered stages, all-vegetarian menu to te recycled plastic tote bags and recycled cotton t-shirts, every aspect of the festival's footprint/sustainability that we could think of was addressed. (we hadn't gotten to carbon offsets yet) Of course triple sets of bins - trash/compost/recycling were everywhere. 
I have an entire write-up of the whole thought process went into producing this event and the results. I would be happy to share with others or post it to this list if a few page document wouldn't overwhelm the list.
I am work with the folks organizing the Green Festivals in Austin (Oct 11 & 12) and San Francisco (Nov 8 & 9) and this group is working for that high level of responsibiliity. see and 
The challenge is getting more event organziers to commit to a similar level of conscientiusness and thoroughness. If folks have ideas of how to make this more widespread, please share.
Keep up the great work everyone!
Brandi Clark
President, Environmentality
PO Box 684641 Austin, TX 78768
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 12:27:45 -0700
To: "GreenYes" <greenyes@no.address>
From: "Michael Jessen" <zerowaste@no.address>
Subject: Zero Waste at Kaslo Jazz Festival
Message-ID: <001401c35475$28f41ee0$f00cb5d0@no.address>

FYI from
Michael Jessen
Zero Waste Services
5635 Highway 3A
Nelson, BC V1L 6N7 Canada
Office Phone: 250/229-4621
Home Phone: 250/229-5632
Fax: 775/587-9838
E-mail: zerowaste@no.address

"If you're not in favour of Zero Waste, how much waste are 
you in favour

Catching the Zero Vibe

 Thousands of people at an outdoor music gathering and 
virtually no garbage?

 Sounds impossible but that is what a local environmental 
consultant is
striving for at the upcoming Kaslo Jazz Etc., Society 
(KJES) music festival.

 Michael Jessen, owner of Zero Waste Services, has been 
contracted by the
KJES to eliminate as much garbage as possible from the 
three-day event
scheduled from August 2 to 4.

 "The main way we hope to reduce waste is by having all 
food and beverage
vendors use compostable plates and cups," Jessen said.

 "We will be using products from Biocorp North America and 
I believe this is
the first time these products have been used at a music 
festival in Canada,"
added Jessen.

Biocorp is one of the leading providers of biodegradable 
packaging to the
food and beverage industries. Its products were used at the 
recent summer
Olympics in Sydney, Australia and at the winter Olympics at 
Salt Lake City,
Utah. Biocorp products are certified by the Biodegradable 
Products Institute
for biodegradability and compostability.

 He said the products are not yet available in Canada and 
he has had to
import the stock of plates, hot and cold drink cups, and 
straws from the
firm's Los Angeles headquarters.

 Jessen said the main savings on waste will probably be at 
the festival's
beer garden where up to 4,000 cups of beer and wine expect 
to be poured.

 "Festival organizers already have a unique system of 
writing people's names
on their cup so they can use it more than once," Jessen 
said. "Now we'll
compost the cups after people have used them instead of 
throwing them in the

 Last year garbage generated at the festival filled a 
Village of Kaslo dump
truck to overflowing, Jessen said. "This year we hope we'll 
make less than a
car trunk full."

 A three-bin collection system with simple, bright signage 
will collect all
waste generated at the festival, Jessen said.

 "There'll be one bin under blue signage for all beverage 
containers such as
cans, plastic bottles, and cartons; a bin for compostables 
under green
signage to collect food leftovers and the compostable 
plates and cups, and
even napkins; then a third bin with white signage for 
actual garbage," he
said. Glass bottles are not allowed on the festival site, 
he added.

 Jessen said he hopes festival attendees will get into the 
zero waste spirit
by not bringing potential garbage with them or else packing 
it out.

 The compostable part of the waste stream will be collected 
in Biocorp's
compostable bags that leave no plastic residuals or 
polluting chemicals,
thereby enhancing the compost quality.

 Jessen said three corporate sponsors -- Nelson Toyota, 
Aquila Networks
Canada, and Oso Negro Coffee -- have contributed to signage 
and other zero
waste station costs. "We thank our sponsors for their help 
and generosity,"
he said.

 "Organic waste represents about 50% of a municipality's 
waste so this is
the area where we will find the next great leap in waste 
reduction," Jessen
said. "Many communities such as Guelph, Ontario already 
collect organic
waste weekly from residences and commercial establishments 
and they are
achieving 70% waste reduction."

 Organic waste can be composted and turned into a soil 
nutrient to be an
integral part of the food chain, Jessen said.

 "Compost enriches the porosity and density of the soil, 
increasing the
possibility for water to reach plants and reducing 
erosion," he said. "It
can also be utilized as an alternative to expensive 

 Jessen said that if the Kaslo zero waste event proves 
successful in
dramatically reducing waste, he hopes other Kootenay area 
festivals will
follow suit. He said he would be preparing a report on the 
waste reduction
impact of the project.

 Michael Jessen is a Nelson consultant who specializes in 
helping homes and
businesses with waste-free living. He can be reached at 
250-229-5632 or
e-mailed at zerowaste@no.address His business -- Zero 
Waste Services -- 
has an award-winning web site at

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