About the Zero Waste Initiative

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Snohomish County kicked-off the Zero Waste initiative at the Evergreen State Fair in 2014, with a goal of achieving Zero Waste by 2017- an action item identified in the County’s Sustainable Operations Action Plan (SOAP).

The goal of our Zero Waste initiative is to divert 100% of waste generated at the Fair from ever reaching the landfill through increased recycling, composting, and waste reduction. 
Prior to 2014, approximately 85% of the garbage generated annually at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds was recycled or composted. The remaining 15% of waste (245 tons of garbage) was still going to the landfill, and 120 tons of it was generated during the 12 day Fair. Since the start of the Zero Waste effort in 2014, Snohomish County made significant strides in reducing landfill disposal by an estimated 53 tons (~45% of total Fair waste) and composting approximately 33.5 tons of food waste over 2013 levels.

Below is a summary of the steps taken in 2015 and 2016 as we work towards our Zero Waste goal:

2014 (Year 1) Changes

  • 30 new Zero Waste Stations installed throughout the Fairgrounds. Each Zero Waste Station includes a color coordinated three bin system with signage to help fair goers sort waste into the correct receptacles.
  • Six Zero Waste Educators were hired to staff the Zero Waste Stations and help Fair attendees sort garbage from recycling and compostables during peak hours.
  • The County’s Parks Department purchased a cardboard baler, which allowed Parks to sell 15 cardboard bales (approximately 800 pounds) on the recycled commodities market.
  • Thirty yard compactor purchased for compacting food waste and extracting liquids.
  • Solitary garbage cans reduced and minimized.

2015 (Year 2) Changes

  • Food waste vendors required to use compostable packaging.
  • 84 Zero Waste Stations installed throughout the Fairgrounds. Each Zero Waste Station includes a color coordinated three bin system with signage to help fair goers sort waste into the correct receptacles.
  • 17 Zero Waste Educators were hired to staff the Zero Waste Stations and help Fair attendees sort garbage from recycling and compostables during peak hours.
  • Two cart tippers purchased to efficiently tip recycling, compost, and garbage carts into compactors.
  • Water bottle refilling stations installed.
  • High efficiency hand dryers installed in some bathrooms.
  • Solitary garbage cans eliminated.
  • Enhanced public engagement with educational games and prizes.
 
Learn more about the other sustainability measures being implemented at the Evergreenest Fair Ever by visiting this page!