Which San Jose Fest Generates the Least Waste?


Not these guys. Image via: Vi.sualize

In 2008, this event achieved a goal of 94% waste diversion and their 2009 event beat that record with a 97% waste diversion. This 97% also happens to have the esteemed distinction of "highest diversion rates ever for a San Jose event." Plus, it was a multi-day event, meaning more time to make a mess of things. Think you know who it might be? Find out after the jump.

CORRECTION: This event was originally reported as the lowest rate for the Bay Area, but in fact was just the lowest waste event for the San Jose area.Drum roll please......

It's the 2009 AT&T; San Jose Jazz Festival, and this three day event (August 7-9) achieved their goal of diverting 97% of waste at the festival. Surprised? That means not only having the garbage, recycling and composting bins located all over the event, it also means that attendees were more than willing to participate and responsibly sort their goods, with some help from the San Jose Environmental Services Department.

In 2006, the festival generated 16 forty-cubic-ton containers of garbage and in 2009 they generated less than half of this amount. In total roughly 0.6675 total tons of trash were generated, almost 11 tons of compost, 1.44 tons of cardboard, roughly 1 ton of charcoal, 4.462 tons of recycling and 1.1625 tons of oil was generated at the event.

At the end of 2008, festival organizers made a concerted effort to work directly with all 130 vendors to all agree to not bring materials that will just be trashed or to not generate any more waste than is necessary. Vendors also had to plan ahead and purchase materials that could not only be recycled but also containers and materials that are compostable. With 1,000 musicians and 10 stages, there is a lot to keep an eye on and plan for in order to make sure waste is limited and/or zeroed. Organizers also worked with the City of San Jose Environmental Services Department for guidance on reducing their waste, and is designated at one of the City's Large Zero Waste events. Using 2009 as a benchmark, it will be interesting to see if 2010 will keep the Jazz Fest on top and if they are able to beat their own records. :San Jose Jazz Fest
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