The Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative (AOZWI), a program facilitated by sustainability and social justice organization, Rural Action, brought together over 170 volunteers and concert attendees to help the four-day Nelsonville Music Festival (NMF) close in on their goal of being 90% or greater zero waste, a process in which all refuse material is able to be diverted from landfills by being either recycled or composted.
For the first time, NMF required all vendors to use compostable service ware, which included refillable water bottle stations and reusable beer cups. AOZWI then setup over two dozen “Resource Recovery Stations” across the festival that guided attendees to place their refuse in one of three separate bins; compost, recycling and landfill. Volunteers took the compost and recycling containers to another new addition at this year’s event; a conveyor belt developed by Ohio University engineering students that allowed for dramatically improved sorting. The collective efforts led to the final results being a double-digit increase over the prior year, leaping from 72 percent to 89 percent of materials being non-waste.
For more information, visit RuralAction.org.