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Arts Fest, People's Choice Result in Big Recycling Efforts

by on August 02, 2017 10:03 AM

With two major summer festivals happening in the Centre Region, the four-day period between July 13-16 had the potential to produce a lot of waste that could end up in landfills.

But thanks to the efforts of festival volunteers, staff and attendees, more than two and half tons of organic waste and recyclable materials were collected during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College and the People's Choice Festival in Boalsburg.

According to the Centre County Recycling & Refuse Authority, more than 5,400 pounds were kept out of the landfill thanks to various recycling efforts. Included in that were more than 33,000 water battles, lemonade cups and aluminum cans, enough to line the Arts Festival route end to end nearly two and a half times.

"Festival attendees were given many recycling options to choose from," CCRRA said in a release. "Recycling bins were set up throughout festival grounds for plastic bottles, metal cans, lemonade cups and French fry buckets. There were also bins to collect compostable material."

Fest Zero has played a big role in moving Arts Festival toward the goal of becoming a zero-waste festival. The effort began in 2014 and has grown to include residents and Penn State students and alumni, along with university, State College Borough and CCRRA staff. Fest Zero has its own crew of volunteers that this year was folded into the festival volunteers formerly called the "trash crew" to form a single "green crew.

Also new this year was the donation of food items to local shelters following the festival.

"Thanks to the efforts of our festival attendees, we were able to divert approximately 50 percent of waste (by volume) from the landfill," the CCRRA release said.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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