While sustainability has always been a goal of the Honesdale Roots and Rhythm Music and Arts festival, the 2010 festival, which successfully diverted a significant amount of festival waste for recycling purposes, became award winning and was recognized by the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) as one of over 120 municipalities, counties, private businesses, individuals, and community organizations from throughout Pennsylvania for going above and beyond what is mandated under Act 101, the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act. The festival earned its first Waste Watcher Award by PROP.
Building on the success of the 2010 festival, the 2011 festival remained committed to its “green” heritage and once again helped divert a considerable amount of recyclable materials from ending up in the landfill. A Recycling Committee was officially established as part of the festival’s ongoing planning efforts; over 30 volunteers from various community organizations registered for early morning set-up, collection and sorting shifts throughout the day; professional “Think, Before You Throw” signage was donated; and the festival’s Food Committee Chair worked with food vendors to help decrease the use of non-recyclable materials.
Working with local farmers, the 2012 festival incorporated food waste recycling, which diverted a significant amount of compostable materials from going to the landfill, helping the festival earn its second Waste Watcher award. A “Sustainability” tent and banner was added in 2013 to serve as a check-in point for our volunteers, as well as a place where people could stop by to learn more about recycling and sustainability. Signage was improved, and it was this year that our committee name was revised to “Sustainability”. Volunteers with festival t-shirts manned all of the well-marked waste disposal stations, helping educate the public on the differences between trash/landfill, recyclables, and compostables. As a result of the team efforts, in 2014 Roots and Rhythm was considered a “near zero waste” festival.
For 2015, the 10th anniversary of the Honesdale Roots and Rhythm Music and Arts Festival plans to be “greener” than ever, as food vendors are being asked to use only compostable or recyclable food service ware. Consistent with this year’s “zero waste goal,” the Festival Board encourages the public to please remember to drop all waste into the appropriate and well marked bins throughout the park on the day of the festival.
If anyone is interested in helping make a difference for the 2015 festival by volunteering for the many committees and/or jobs that are needed to put this tremendous festival on, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “R&R Volunteer” in the subject of your email.