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Waste not want not

Media Release

26 February 2014

Waste not want not

Skip the tip is the message to WOMAD goers this year.

Festival organisers are aiming high to improve on recycling waste and prevent as much rubbish as possible going to the city tip.

The international festival is just two weeks away and people are being encouraged to abide by the theme Zero Waste. Shell NZ Limited sponsors the recycling programme for WOMAD, and will be supplying even more recycling bins this year, with almost 250 being deposited between the site and the nearby campground at New Plymouth racecourse.

While most festival goers are good at recycling waste, there is a drive this year to improve, says Zero Waste manager David Liggett.

“Last year we had 56% of WOMAD rubbish recycled which was down a little on the previous year’s 62%. We know that there was an increased number of campers last year and it’s an area where our bins are unmanned.

“We want to improve on that this year so we are placing more bins in the camping area and we hope to step up on the push to have more recycled,” he said, urging campers to use the bins and ensure they recycled as much as possible.

Recycling/rubbish stations would be positioned throughout the WOMAD site with colour-coded bins and labels making it easy for the public to separate their rubbish. These stations would also be manned by volunteers who would assist people to use the correct bins.

Bins would cater for cardboard and paper, plastics, aluminium, tin, bio-degradable products and general rubbish, which was largely things that people brought with them, such as plastic drink bottles or pizza boxes.

All the food stalls would supply food on biodegradable plates or in containers made from starch or potato and issue utensils made from wood.

Mr Liggett said it was very important people used the correct bins for their waste.

“If it goes in the wrong slot, it contaminates everything so that the entire bag has to go to the landfill,” he said. “Even if only a small amount of incorrect stuff goes in.

“That’s why we have all the recycling bins manned to ensure people get it right. And most people who go to WOMAD want to get it right and they are passionate about recycling but we do want to improve on last year.”

“Zero waste is our goal, thus the name, so let’s try to achieve that as best we can.”

Nearly 100 volunteers alone will be working in Zero Waste, many of them manning recycling stations. Others will be clearing bags, taking rubbish sacks away and there will be a crew of night volunteers ensuring all bins and areas are cleared and refreshed for the next day’s festival.

“Some people love working in Zero Waste. They enjoy it so much they want to return each year. We have a 71-year-old New Plymouth man who volunteers for this area each time.

“It’s not as sexy as some other volunteer roles, like artist liaison or working backstage, but a lot of people do like it and we are a fun team. There are some misconceptions , that it’s about picking up rubbish or a dirty job. It isn’t.”


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