Kompost Kids’ 10thYear Composting the Bay View Bash Trash
Volunteers Make Strides Towards Near-Zero Waste Festival
Milwaukee, WI – Those dumpster divers are at it again! Kompost Kids trash heroes and waste audit return to the Bay View Bash (Saturday, September 21, 2019; 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM on Kinnickinnic Ave. between Potter and Clement). In 2018, over100 volunteers racked up 250 hours to hand-sort 100% of all trash discarded by 35,000 attendees, approximately 4000 pounds. Why? To recover the maximum compostable or recyclable material from the landfill.
Sorting 100% of all trash at the Bash resulted in a fewer landfill dumpsters filled, down from five in 2017, to just over 1 dumpster in 2018. The 2018 waste audit showed approximately 75% of items tossed into landfill bags (e.g. corn husks, napkins, beer cups) were compostable; sorting by volunteers reclaimed those materials to become soil. Based on the total Bash trash weight (~4000lbs), the waste audit also established that 51% of trash was composted, 21% was recycled, and 28% went to the landfill. The EPA estimates the US produces 250 Million Tons of trash per year, and on average 50% is landfilled. While many events strive for zero-waste, there is limited publicly available data on where all the trash ends up.
Kompost Kids believes in Trash Transparency. We will improve on and report the results of the live waste audit at the Bay View Bash in 2019. Since 2010, Kompost Kids and the Bay View Bash have innovated to reduce landfilled trash and improve our ecological footprint. In 2019, Kompost Kids is hosting a social media contest pushing attendees to bring their own reusable cups, straws, or utensils. To enter the contest, attendees post a picture of their reusable gear with the hashtag #MKENoWaste and tag Kompost Kids for a chance to win. Some other sustainable highlights that continue in 2019 include: partnering with local school Green Teams to hand-sort all trash during and after the Bash, requiring vendors to use compostable food service items, incentivizing “Green Star Vendors” who use only compostable materials, selling beer and wine in compostable cups, and prohibiting plastic water bottle sales (canned water is ok).
Kompost Kids and the Bay View Bash are both volunteer-run non-profit organizations. Kompost Kids mission is to educate the public, individuals, businesses, and institutions about the benefits of compost and to reclaim organic materials from landfills to create soil for community-based agriculture projects. The Bay View Bash festival raises funds that are directly invested back into the city’s neighborhoods through grants. Together we have shown that we can perfect a model of volunteer power and zero-waste practices that any event (from street festival, block party, concert, to conference) could replicate.