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MADISON – It’s hard to picture a Wisconsin fair or festival without great food and drinks, and this year event planners can help keep the leftover bottles, cans and packaging out of landfills with increased event recycling.
State and local laws require recycling at home and on the road, with ways to recycle materials like clean cardboard, aluminum cans and glass or plastic bottles necessary at all events and gatherings. The Department of Natural Resources provides free recycling signs and information to help event organizers and attendees follow the law.
These free materials are found by searching the DNR website dnr.wi.gov for “recycling away from home.”
“At fairgrounds and concert venues, beer tents and exhibition halls, even sporting events and private parties, Wisconsin residents already look for ways to recycle,” said Cynthia Moore, DNR recycling program coordinator. “Simple steps like posting clear signs and pairing trash cans with recycling bins can reduce litter. A little planning goes a long way.”
Festival, fair and other event attendees should look for recycling containers and ask property managers when they don’t see a place to recycle.
Event organizers can download, print or order DNR resources to encourage vendor recycling, create successful collection systems and reduce overall amounts of waste. The free resources include the “Recycling and Waste Reduction at Your Special Event” guide, signs and labels for recycling bins and a brand new Special Event Vendor Recycling Info Sheet.
In cooperation with the Wisconsin Beverage Association, Wisconsin Council on Recycling and Associated Recyclers of Wisconsin, the DNR will also make repurposed soft drink syrup barrels available this year as low-cost recycling bins for event planners with a limited budget. Event planners can learn more about the barrel program by contacting Waneta Kratz at Waneta.Kratz@wisconsin.gov.
“While organizing a recycling effort at these events may seem daunting,” Moore said, “a number of recent event organizers have shown that it can be done effectively and efficiently. Providing easy recycling at special events is a great reminder of how everyone everywhere can reduce waste and keep our environment clean.”
Moore noted that local governments who allow the use or lease of their buildings, parks and grounds for festivals or other events must provide for recycling themselves, or require event organizers to recycle in the permit, lease agreement or contract.