Monday, October 1, 2007


Your first thought might be the inappropriate use of spandex on the woman on the right. You would be correct but I am referring to the trash can sitting by itself at the Oktoberfest.

Despite the large number of trash containers throughout the festival grounds, not one was accompanied by a recycling container. In fact, I did not see one recycling bin at all and it was not because I had too much Warsteiner. Festivals are huge generators of waste and large consumers of energy so it should seem obvious to communities that they need to "green" up these special events. Here are some relatively easy to impliment suggestions:

Charge a cup deposit. Patrons pay a dollar deposit for each beverage in order to encourage them to reuse their cups. Subsequent refills cost the original amount. Before departing the festival, guests return their cup to any beverage vendor for a full refund of the cup. The deposit encourages recycling and also limits discarded cups on the ground.

Provide separate bins for recycling directly next to trash cans. If recycling and waste containers are separated people will not make the effort to find recycle. Recycling stations can also be monitored by volunteers (i.e. OSU recycling clubs) to ensure that trash and recyclables are not commingled.

Prohibit the distribution of paper flyers. Flyers tend to be a dominant source of trash thrown on the ground.

Require food vendors to use corn-resin based or polylactic, compostable plates, cups, and utensils.

Provide vendors with composting bags to recycle food waste.

Set up bicycle valets. Patrons are issued claim checks in exchange for their bikes. Staff monitor the bikes in a secure corral.

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