Recycle Ann Arbor Awarded Grant to Expand Zero Waste Events in Ann Arbor
Recycle Ann Arbor’s Zero Waste Special Event program has grown significantly since 2012 and the interest in the community has also grown. In 2015, we further expanded our reach by partnering with the Washtenaw County Office of the Water Resources Commissioner (Solid Waste Department) to develop Zero Waste Washtenaw. In 2017, we were able to host 26 Zero Waste events and reach 40,934 attendees.
Building on this success, Recycle Ann Arbor was recently awarded a Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Grant that will fund additional recycling bins to use at our events. With additional bins, we will be able to showcase the program to more venues and larger events; this will allow the concept of Zero Waste events to become “the norm” in Ann Arbor and potentially surrounding areas. The grant-funded bins will supplement the bins we currently have and allow us to increase the recyclables diverted at events. In 2017, we diverted close to 2,500 lbs of recyclables and 3,300 lbs of compost at Zero Waste events.
The success and presence of our Zero Waste event program have shown event attendees and community members that public space recycling (and compost) programs can be successful with the right infrastructure, management, and community support.
The grant-funded recycling bins will debut at the City of Ann Arbor’s Earth Day Festival held on April 22, 2018, at the Leslie Science & Nature Center.