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Interview with Ana Sontag about Waste Reduction at Spring Concert

May 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm
By Jordan Shapiro

What efforts are being taken to reduce waste and promote sustainability?

Our biggest effort is to try and provide as many compostable materials as possible, rather than materials that we know would go into the landfill. Bon App has a lot of these materials available, which they provide for the meal they serve. We also hand out snow cones, and we make sure that everything that goes with them are compostable as well. Additionally, we work with our food truck vendors to try to make sure they have access to compostable materials. We will provide these materials for them, so they don’t have that expense. We also have a large water fountain with many spickets. Not only does this encourage students to stay hydrated, but it promotes reusable water bottles as opposed to plastic ones.

How is this different from what has been done in past years?

Luckily this system has been in place for the past few years. The hope is that once students come and see this culture, that they will continue with waste reduction. One thing that we can get a little tricked with, is that students can bring in whatever they want into the event. This is waste that we can’t control, but this will be one of the next things that we try to tackle. We hope to communicate with students to, as much as they can, not produce waste.

What is the ultimate goal for waste and sustainability at the concert?

This is not an official goal or anything that we have written down, but we work to have all of our waste be either compostable or recyclable. I do not know if we'll ever get there, because there are so many factors we cannot control. But for the most part we only really put out recyclable and compostable waste bins, because we hope that eventually we will only have these types of waste.

How can students help to achieve this goal?

First we want students to actually put their waste into bins and not just leave it on the ground. But when they do throw away their waste, we want to make sure it is going in the right place. We mostly have recycling and compost bins, but we do have some landfill bins throughout the area. We really want to make sure the waste streams are kept up. The other part is helping your friends figure everything out. One person may be very cognizant about where they are putting their waste, while others may not be. It is really a group effort to make sure all the waste gets where it needs to go.

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