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Fairgrounds Sustainability Highlights
The Evergreen State Fairgrounds is home to year-round entertainment and educational opportunities for Snohomish County residents and visitors from around the region, and the Evergreen State Fair is making significant strides to be the Evergreenest Fair Ever!
Snohomish County kicked-off the Zero Waste initiative at the Evergreen State Fair in 2014, with a goal of achieving Zero Waste - an action item identified in the County’s Sustainable Operations Action Plan (SOAP) (PDF).
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. This year, nearly 100 Zero Waste Stations throughout the Fairgrounds will help visitors reduce waste through recycling and composting. During peak fair times, Zero Waste Stations are staffed with our Zero Waste Educators to help visitors put compostables, recyclables, and garbage in the right place.
Read more about what we're doing to reach our Zero Waste goal by visiting the About the Zero Waste Initiative page!
All of the animal bedding (wood shavings) and animal waste from the Evergreen State Fair gets turned into energy and compost at the Qualco Biodigester plant in Monroe. The Qualco Biodigester turns animal waste and other waste materials into renewable energy by capturing the methane released during this anaerobic digestion process. Byproducts of the anaerobic digestion process create high-quality fertilizer that is used in local agriculture. The Qualco Biodigester provides significant benefit to the local farming community as it provides a simple way to dispose of animal waste, while contributing to clean water and air in the process.
High Efficiency Hand Dryers
In many of the restroom facilities on the Fairgrounds, paper towels have been replaced by high-efficiency hand dryers. The hand dryers reduce the amount of waste generated by the restrooms and keep down operating costs by eliminating the need to purchase and stock paper towels.
Water Bottle Refill stations
Bring a refillable water bottle to the Evergreenest Fair, and you’ll have plenty of places to refill it. Many drinking fountains on the Fairgrounds have been updated to include drink refill options. The Refill Stations help reduce the waste from disposable plastic water bottles and reduce the cost of subsequent bottle disposal at the fair.
Permeable concrete at the Longhouse and Fair Entrance
Rain, rain goes away – actually right through – the permeable concrete in front of the Longhouse and the Main Fairgrounds entrance. The porous concrete was installed as part of an educational pilot project to showcase it as a best management practice for on-site stormwater management. Permeable concrete allows rainwater to infiltrate back into the ground through soils, which helps reduce the amount of pollutants that travel to local water bodies when compared to traditional storm water collection systems. Permeable concrete also helps recharge groundwater.
Take a close look at the Fairgrounds landscaping and you might notice that some of the landscaping is working double-duty. The four rain gardens and two bio-filtration planter boxes catch and filter rainwater through the plants, rather than running off through storm drains and carrying potential pollutants with it.
As you make your way through Fair Exhibition buildings, displays might look brighter, and the bills are smaller thanks to lighting upgrades that have been made throughout the Fairgrounds campus. Older T-12 fluorescent lighting was replaced with more efficient T-8 fluorescent lighting which saves energy and money.
From radiant space heaters to thermostat and controls upgrades, many Fairgrounds buildings have recently been retrofitted for space heating improvements. These retrofits keep spaces warm for activities in the winter months but use less energy and save on operating costs.