Blog Post

Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton and Northampton collaborated with RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) to implement a successful waste reduction program during their recent day-long Folk Festival. The family-friendly outdoor event drew together 1,200 community members to celebrate the start of the sanctuary’s 75th year celebrations this past September. Event organizers, vendors, and volunteers worked together to divert waste through a collaborative recycling and composting program.

To maximize waste diversion, Arcadia staff mandated that all food vendors serve items in compostable serviceware. RecyclingWorks staff provided recommendations of organics haulers that accept this serviceware and also provided guidance to festival organizers on how to best set up clearly-labeled stations with recycling, compost, and trash collection bins. During the event, volunteers oversaw the three material collection stations to help festival goers reduce contamination and separate their waste into appropriate bins.

The collaboration successfully diverted the overwhelming majority of their waste. In total, the outdoor event generated 9 bags of organics, 6 bags of recycling, and only 2 bags of trash. The program has already started serving as a model for other similar events. Following its success, Mass Audubon’s Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary has plans to replicate the program for their 2019 Fall Fair.

RecyclingWorks assists businesses and institutions with recycling and food waste reduction. RecyclingWorks offers guidance on reducing food waste and provides direct technical assistance to help businesses maximize waste diversion opportunities. To speak to a recycling and food waste expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525, or email us at