The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Organizers aim for waste-free Salmonfest

 


Salmonfest 2017 will be getting help from Cook Inletkeeper and ReGroup to minimize waste at this year’s festival, which is scheduled for August 4 to 6 in Ninilchik. The three-day event will feature some of the country’s top musicians, including Homer’s own Jewel.

Organizers will also be debuting something new—a “zero waste” goal. Zero Waste stations will be strategically placed during the event to help reduce the annual show’s impact on the environment.

“Every year we work to make the festival more enjoyable, more music, more art, more fish, love and music,” said Salmonfest Producer Jim Stearns.

This year, he said, to help reduce the event’s overall impact on the Kenai Peninsula, several local entities, including Cook Inletkeeper and ReGroup have teamed up to focus on waste reduction.

“From the start, we’ve taken a lot of steps to reduce waste at the festival,” said Stearns. “The reusable cups in the beer gardens are not only collectible but they help reduce the need for thousands and thousands of single-use cups during the event. We’re excited to take it to the next level this year.”

Instead of trash cans, Zero Waste stations will stand out at the Ninilchik fairgrounds, Stearns noted. The new Zero Waste stations pair recycling and compost bins with every trash can and will be staffed by members of the all-volunteer Zero Waste crew to help festival-goers toss their unwanted materials, from compostable food scraps and paper plates to recyclable water bottles and aluminum cans.

“There’s always been some recycling available at the festival, but this year we want to make it really obvious and easy,” said Cook Inletkeeper Director Carly Wier. “And since so much of our waste stream is made up of biodegradable, compostable material, we think we can reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill by more than 50 percent.”

“It takes a lot of hands to make this happen,” said Cook Inletkeeper’s volunteer coordinator Natalia Mulawa. “We can use some more people to help us turn this vision into reality.”

Salmonfest is supported by and benefits The Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, with support from Cook Inletkeeper.

 

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