June 22, 2011 —
Five thousand people is a lot of people. It’s also a lot of trash. For the second year, on June 18, Roots and Rhythm (R&R) arranged a system of collecting recyclables in clearly marked cardboard containers spread through Central Park.
Since everybody at the festival may not be environmentally conscious, a group of volunteers began sorting through the garbage containers, picking out the recyclables all day, finishing the formidable task late into the night.
“It’s a necessary task,” said Stu Badner, R&R co-chair of the recycling committee. “Our aim is to divert as much of the trash from the waste stream that we can and recycle as much as we can. The festival is a good way for people to see the value of recycling.”
About 30 volunteers worked throughout the day, some members of Transition Honesdale, a chapter of the international Transition Town movement, some members of SEEDS, another local group that aims to encourage sustainable environmental practices. Local people who believe in the necessity to recycle as much as possible filled in the ranks.
Badner, along with his wife Cheryl who also volunteered, are consultants who formed a company called Corporate Waste Consultants whose aim is to help businesses and others reduce the trash that they are putting into the waste stream.
“The Waste Management Company of Beach Lake donated the cardboard boxes as well as the two dumpsters we used,” Badner said. “They also helped us considerably with their single-stream recycling method that freed us from sorting recyclables at the festival site.”
Last year, the festival received a prestigious award from the Pennsylvania Waste Watchers for its recycling efforts, he said.
“Without all the volunteers we have had, we would never have done the job,” he said.