By Soo-Jung Le

The Skagit County community cares about their land and water resources and are willing to support an event as patrons and sponsors. One event, the Skagit County zero-waste events, is a comprehensive program facilitating recycling, composting, and waste reduction at public and private events. The goal of a zero-waste event is to divert as much material from the landfill as possible, using various waste-reduction techniques. During the event, waste minimization will be heavily tackled and will be promoted.

Zero-waste event considers the entire life cycle of the products and looks at their waste stream from a new angle. In this perspective, a resource’s life cycle is designed for reuse, similar in a way in nature where nothing goes to waste. The occasion is one that has been designed to reduce, reuse and recycle resources, and zero-waste events plan to mitigate any trash headed to the landfill.

This eco-friendly event is expected to minimize waste to landfills, increase the amount of recycled or biodegradable materials, and make the event pursue a successful waste management program. The occasion significantly reduces waste collection costs by extracting compost and recyclable materials that were produced during the event waste streams. The occasion also enables the reduction of the cleaning, purchasing, and material processing costs, making the events cost-efficient. Along with the cost efficiency, the event provides a unique marketing tool, attracting potential sponsors. Through the event, people are able to learn the purpose of the occasion alongside how it was initiated and also support the improvement of environmental awareness.

Also, the program offers logo certification and promotion, free borrowing of portable waste bins, signs, and technical assistance. When you register your event with them, you automatically become eligible to display one of their logos on your promotional materials in order to help promote your green event. Eligible events include conventions, festivals, sporting events, farmers markets, expos, fairs, galas, family reunions, church functions, weddings, meetings, and conferences.

What’s unique about this event is that it offers two levels of services for each registrant: gold level and silver level. Silver zero-waste events use waste reduction techniques, offer to recycle bins, and incentivize vendor composting for food prep scraps. Gold zero-waste events add food scrap collection, controls on a vendor or organizer-supplied utensils and packaging, and grease collection. The silver level offers ClearStream’s portable recycling and trash bags, while the gold level offers ClearStream’s portable recyclables, compost, garbage containers, and bags. The gold level offers more variety than the silver level by providing the zero-waste events trailer and ClearStream’s transporters for large events and buckets for liquids, which is not provided by the silver level.

To register for this event, people must be willing to first complete an event form on the website. If the registrants are hosting a gold level zero-waste event, the registrants will need to require their vendors to meet the occasion’s packaging requirements, which they need when preparing their vendors. The next step is to promote their own event. In other words, incorporating the logos of zero-waste event into the promotional materials for their event. Third, registrants will deploy bins and signs, which is critical to successful waste collection, high rates of sorting, and low contamination. Finally, the registrants will complete the post-event evaluation form when returning the bin after the event.

There are several recommendations for registrants during the event. Registrants are encouraged to use clear plastic bags as liners for recycling bins which will ease the identification and the removal of contaminants. It is also recommended that staff is always present at the waste stations in order to ensure that people are using the right stations. In a situation where there is a shortage of staff, one floating staff member will be assigned to check each area periodically. In addition, it is recommended to limit the number of recycling dumpsites to facilitate monitoring, and to remove all trash cans that are not accompanied by recycling and compost bins because defective products can distort conversion rates and may make people hesitant to use the waste dumps.

Skagit County zero-waste events helps registrants participate in recycling effectively and systematically. This occasion for the environment is an important move not only for the community but also for the planet, which is home to people from all over the world. According to environmentalist Myung-gil Kim, “recycling reduces the need for extracting, such as mining, quarrying and logging, refining, and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution. As recycling saves the energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.” These events for the environment are expected to be further promoted for the future as well as for the present. If you want to join the environmental event, call zero-waste events staff at (360) 416-1570 or email [email protected]