WOMAD NZ: Committed To Environmental Sustainability Success
WOMAD NZ: Towards Zero Waste
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WOMAD is committed to ensuring that it isn’t just a spectacular celebration of international culture, sound and sight, but also an example of environmental sustainability success.
WOMAD NZ actively encourages and assists all involved with the festivals, from the performers to the attendees, to practice a zero waste strategy.
Zero waste is a powerful concept that challenges old ways of thinking and inspires new attitudes and behaviour. The multifaceted approach integrates the four Rs of waste minimisation: reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink, to conserve the Earth’s limited resources.
The strategy has developed a benchmark for other events to aspire to and the amount of festival waste entering landfills has been reduced by 85% since the first WOMAD held in New Plymouth in 2003. It is just one of the ways that the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust achieves its goal of delivering a quality experience to attendees and has established WOMAD NZ’s reputation as a clean, green festival site.
In 2007 funding was secured from the Ministry for the Environment’s Sustainable Management Fund for WOMAD NZ 2008: Towards Zero Waste Strategy. The strategy will be implemented again at the 2011 festival. The initiative involves a successful collaboration between The Taranaki Arts Festival Trust/WOMAD NZ, regional environmental agencies and the Taranaki community to minimise waste created by the festival.
Initial planning involved detailed research and communication with suppliers and relevant agencies. Regular meetings were held to develop a project plan to separate the four main forms of waste into: recyclables; compostable waste; glass and rubbish. The strategy dictates which materials traders at the festival can use. All food and drink products sold throughout the event must be served in recyclable, reusable, biodegradable or compostable containers.
Volunteers (‘The Green Guys’) supervise each waste collection station and direct festival goers as to where their waste should be deposited in. Rubbish bins are colour coded; the green bins are for products made from biodegradable cardboard or cardboard-like materials e.g. corn or potato starch; blue bins are for cle cardboard and paper; and pink bins are for other waste. All glass is crushed on-site.
Following WOMAD NZ 2008, the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust and the volunteers received a Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award “for integrating waste minimisation into public event management”.