US EPA awards Roots Team for Reducing Food Waste

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  awarded Honesdale Roots & Rhythm Music & Arts Festival a Certificate of Achievement for food waste diversion from landfills.

Roots & Rhythm’s Sustainability Team, headed by Stu and Cheryl Badner, oversee the festival’s waste diversion and recycling for the no-charge music and arts event each year. The festival is now considered “zero waste,” and the Badners report each year since the event was founded in 2006, less and less festival waste has gone to landfills.

The Badners and the Roots Board of Directors especially thank the vendors along the festival’s Food Vendors Row who each year comply with efforts to reduce waste by using compostable or recyclable containers, plates, utensils, etc. Photo, holding the Food Recovery Challenge Certificate are Jamie Stunkard, chairman of the Roots board and Cheryl Badner, Sustainability co-chair, flanked by Luke Wolfgang (right), coordinator for Sustainability in Region III of the EPA’s Office of Materials Management,which is located in Pennsylvania, and his colleague Tom O’Donnell. The festival this year is June 17, 2017. Mark your calendars and be sure to congratulate our Sustainability Team when you see them there!

3rd Green Award for Roots & Rhythm

(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.
“Our team of volunteers help guide the festival-goers and answer questions,” said Cheryl Badner, “so there is no confusion about what waste to put into what bin. And the system has paid off! 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. After several years of working towards zero waste, at the end of the 2016 event, the team collected only 360 pounds of trash. There were also 480 pounds of recyclables, and 38 bags of food waste / compostable material collected, compared to zero in each category in 2008 and 2009. Roots & Rhythm won its first Waste Watcher Award for 2010 waste diversion efforts, its second for 2013 waste diversion efforts, and now, its third for 2015 waste diversion efforts.
“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.