Each year Republic Services, a long-standing partner of Sustainable Lafayette, allocates waste station resources to collect and survey Recycling, Organic and Landfill waste. This year Republic Services contracted with Futures Explored, Inc., a non-profit organization that assists adults with physical and developmental disabilities to cultivate life skills and work-related training.
For the Lafayette Earth Day Festival, Futures Explored provided seven workers to staff each of the seven waste stations.
Each year Republic has hosted a booth to provide information on their services and collect feedback.
Additionally, they analyzed the waste from the seven waste stations around the festival and shared the report below with us. We were proud to see the diversion rate increase over last year's collection.
Republic explains the results as:
Sustainable Lafayette communicated with food vendors on acceptable disposable items. As such, Styrofoam and plastic bags were absent, replaced with compostable paper bowls, napkins and cardboard pizza plates.
Upon inspecting the Landfill bags, very minimal trash was found (chip bags, plastic utensils, and plastic cellophane). The Landfill bags were so light, they barely registered with weights on the scale.
The only permanent containers onsite were a trash and recycling container by the stage. These were both covered and attendees were directed to the use the ClearStream stations.
Year after year, there is considerably less waste at this event. The only materials in the `Landfill bags were items a few attendees appeared to bring from home such as plastic utensils, Ziploc bags, and Kleenex. There were no plastic cups as attendees were encouraged to bring their own reusable waters bottles and there were only two food vendors who provided food in compostable paper items.
Since such little material is generated, small changes in the weights can lead to dramatic shifts in the diversion rate. But with an 88% diversion rate, the Lafayette Earth Day Festival is well on its way to becoming a true zero waste event.
Thank you to all who attended and contributed to our continued success!