County leading by example with Zero Waste initiative at Evergreen State Fair
The County’s annual Evergreen State Fair is leading by example with its Zero Waste initiative, which aims to divert all fair-generated waste from the landfill through increased recycling and composting. Snohomish County’s innovative approach to waste reduction and conservation is a local and national model of sustainability for fairs and other large events.
“Reducing the fair’s impact on the environment is a priority for us,” said Snohomish County Executive John Lovick. “We want to be good stewards of our environment, so we’re integrating environmental stewardship into daily operations at every level of the fair. The Zero Waste initiative is a great example of how Snohomish County is taking action and raising the bar for other large events around the country.”
This year the Evergreen State Fair will be the only fair in Washington State with compostable food-service ware, and nearly 100 Zero Waste stations to divert the compostable and recyclable materials from the landfill. This initiative minimizes the amount of waste going to landfills, reduces greenhouse-gas emissions, and helps lower County operating costs. A 2014 study by Cascadia Consulting Group found as much as $10,000 a year in potential cost savings for the fairgrounds by reducing the amount of garbage headed to the landfill. Early estimates this year could exceed those savings.
“Last year we kicked off the Zero Waste initiative at the fair with great results, and we cut landfill waste by about 40 tons over 2013,” said Lisa Dulude, Snohomish County’s Energy and Environmental Sustainability Manager. “This year our goal is to recycle or compost an additional 50 tons through a combination of new infrastructure, compostable food-service-ware requirements, operational changes, and engagement activities with fair attendees.”
With more than 350,000 visitors in 12 days, the environmental impact of the fair is significant. In addition to the Zero Waste initiative, the County is implementing other sustainability measures throughout the fairgrounds, including energy and water conservation retrofits, green stormwater infrastructure, water-bottle refill stations, and more.
“The Zero Waste initiative is one of many ways we’re inviting fairgoers to learn more about environmental best practices through agriculture, rain gardens, energy-efficient equipment, and recycling,” said Fair Manager and Deputy Parks Director Hal Gausman.
For more information on the Evergreen State Fair’s Zero Waste campaign and how we’re making this the Evergreenest Fair Ever, please visit http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/ZeroWasteFairgrounds or contact Lisa Dulude at 425-388-3965 or firstname.lastname@example.org.