(Honesdale, October 1, 2016)…For the third time, Honesdale Roots & Rhythm has received a Waste Watcher Award from the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP). This latest applauds the festival for Outstanding Achievement from both PROP and the Keystone chapter of SWAN (Solid Waste Association of North America). Specifically, the 2016 Waste Watcher Award honors the recipients “for outstanding commitment to recycling, waste reduction and reuse in the state of Pennsylvania” for efforts in 2015.
“These awards continue to shine a light on our efforts,” said current festival Chair Deb Bailey, “Since 2010, we have made zero-waste a goal of the festival, and this year, we were truly zeroing-in on zero.”
Roots & Rhythm’s Sustainability Team, led by Cheryl and Stu Badner of Corporate Waste Consultants, uses a three-container system—marked trash/landfill, recyclables and food waste/compostables – to guide festival attendees to dispose of their waste products.
“Volunteers like ourselves direct and answer questions from festival-goers,” said Cheryl Badner, “so there is no confusion about what waste to put into what bin. And the system has paid off! Last year, we had only 320 pounds of trash.”
In the two years before the recycling program was launched in 2010, Badner points out, Roots & Rhythm collected aggregated “garbage” of more than 4,200 pounds each year. In the six years since then, less and less trash has gone to the landfill. This year, the team collected 480 pounds of recyclables and 38 bags of food waste/compostables, compared to zero in each category in 2008 and 2009. Roots & Rhythm won its first Waste Watcher Award for 2010, its second for 2013 and now, its third for 2015.
“We are really proud not only of our Sustainability Volunteers,” added Stu Badner, “but of all festival-goers and their willingness to take time to read the signs and dispose of their waste responsibly. In addition, we have been working closely with the food vendors who are also interested in helping the festival be zero waste by switching to only compostable or recyclable service ware.”
Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival, a non-profit free family event, is wholly supported by donations, corporate sponsors and grants from groups such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pocono Arts Council, the Villaume Foundation and the Wayne County Community Foundation. It draws up to 6,000 people into downtown Honesdale every year. The festival will celebrate its 12th year on June 17, 2017.
Photo: Clearly-marked bins and volunteers help attendees dispose of their garbage at Honesdale Roots & Rhythm, which won a 3rd Waste Watcher Award this year.