Three Rivers Arts Festival: Zero Waste Initiative

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Brought to you by one of the folks helping produce the bikefest party…

Zero Waste Initiative
We’re sure you’ve seen it at all types of events – festivals, concerts, town fairs. At Three Rivers Arts Festival, we’re sick of it and decided to do something about it.

Sure, we accomplished the easy stuff – 100% post consumer recycled programs, soy based inks, reducing our waste at each step of the production cycle. But we wanted more. Lots more.

We spent several years working with the world leaders in waste reduction, benchmarking events, testing products, picking the brain of the US Green Building Council – we went to the experts to become the experts. Much like Pittsburgh is a leader in the design and execution of the world’s largest LEED certified convention center, our team of experts are going to bring Pittsburgh into the bleeding edge of festival environmentalism. We are going to implement a world-class composting and recycling system at the festival – one of the first, and largest, in the nation.

What is composting?
Composting is nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. Finished compost looks like soil-dark brown and crumbly.

You can compost a lot of different types of things – grass clippings, paper products, food waste. But, we’ve decided to make the investment in the environment and provide festival attendees with compostable cups made of cornstarch, cutlery made of potato resin, and even a compostable festival program.

At the food service and main stage areas of the Festival, the Three Rivers Arts Festival will be providing an option for you to compost, recycle, or discard your waste. Our goal is to educate all Festival attendees on how making they can make best environmental choice: composting first, recycling second, discarding last.

Composting on an industrial scale requires that the materials that are distributed into the compost pile are meant for compost. Standard plastic, foil, your big plastic lemonade cup – all of these items taint a compost and end up forcing the waste to go to a landfill.

So what do I do?

1. Follow the signs! We have developed a clear, simple signage to guide attendees at the festival to the new system. Quickly glance at them.
2. Ask the environmental educators on staff what to do. We understand that signs aren’t enough. We have provided environmental educators at each waste station so that you can ask questions about composting, recycling, separating your waste, and what the festival has in store for the future.

The Three Rivers Arts Festival Zero Waste Initiative is a project of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Flyspace Productions and Restorative Events, with generous support from the Colcom Foundation.


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