With three major summer festivals happening at the same time last week, the efforts of volunteers, staff and attendees helped keep thousands of pounds of waste out of the landfill.
According to the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority, more than 5,000 pounds of organics and recyclable materials were collected during the festivals in State College, Boalsburg and Philipsburg.
The recycling numbers for each festival:
- Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts: 520 pounds of plastic bottles, 80 pounds of aluminum cans, 240 pounds of miscellaneous plastic, 2,200 pounds of corrugated cardboard and 300 pounds of organic material.
- People's Choice Festival: 695 pounds of plastic bottles, 100 pounds of green glass and 960 pounds of corrugated cardboard.
- Philipsburg Heritage Days: 80 pounds of plastic bottles, 20 pounds of metal cans and 160 pounds of corrugated cardboard.
Nearly 200 pounds of unused food also was donated to local organizations and food banks.
In addition to work by CCRRA staff, the authority credit efforts by State College Borough and Fest Zero -- a team of Penn State alumni, students and local citizens dedicated to keeping as much Arts Fest waste as possible from landfills -- with making local festivals more environmentally friendly each year.
"It was a great year for recycling at our local festivals," a CCRRA release said. "Thanks to all of the fair-goers who did the right thing!"
CCRRA encouraged attendees at the next big local summer event -- Grange Fair -- to look for and use recycling bins throughout the grounds in Centre Hall.