This year’s summer solstice developed into a beautiful day as the City of Eugene hosted the grand opening celebration for the Washington-Jefferson Skatepark + Urban Plaza. Thousands of people came together to celebrate the amazing venue and what it offers the community. The W-J Skatepark opening was a great example of how future City-sponsored events can incorporate waste recovery and environmental stewardship into event planning.
The W-J event planning team took the initiative to encourage sustainable practices at the event through vendor contracts and participation, procurement decisions, and sponsorship agreements. Food vendors collected food scraps from their booths, and served food and drinks using compostable service ware. City staff purchased compostable cups for the water stations provided for the event. As an event sponsor, Sanipac provided hauling services and separate compost, recycling, and trash containers.
Over the course of the seven-hour event, people generated an estimated 1,618 pounds of waste. Zero Waste volunteers and staff spent 30 hours sorting compost and recycling containers and, after a full day’s worth of chicken wings, corn dogs, and crepes, recovered 618 pounds of compostable material, in addition to 375 pounds of recyclables! The team came close to reaching their goal, and ultimately achieved a 62 percent recovery rate. The compostable materials will be converted into nutrient-rich compost through the Love Food Not Waste (LFNW) commercial compost program.
Additionally, City Waste Prevention staff engaged about 500 participants of all ages at the LFNW booth through waste prevention education. Participants received a voucher for a free bag of 100 percent recycled food scrap compost through the LFNW program.
For more information on the City’s internal zero waste program, please contact Waste Prevention and Green Building Coordinator Jimmy Trasport at 541-682-6842.