When the music stops and the revellers go home, Bay Dreams, like many festivals, could have been left with tonnes of waste.
But, equipped with a waste management plan and a dedicated team, 2021 event has diverted 79% of the leftover waste from landfill, smashing last year’s record of 66%.
Bay Dreams has always aimed to divert waste generated at the event from landfill. For the 2021 festival, waste management was carried out by CLM, which also manages Trafalgar Venues for Nelson City Council, as they are developing a significant track record in both avoiding and reducing waste at events.
Trafalgar Centre Events Co-ordinator Leah Parker says 85.4 cubic metres or just over four tonnes of waste was collected.
“Only 21% of the waste collected has gone to landfill, the rest is recycling and compost, with food waste going to Community Compost.
“We’re delighted to have exceeded last year’s record. There are always improvements to be made, but we are really happy with the results.”
Community and Recreation Committee Chair Tim Skinner was pleased to see so little waste go to landfill.
“We really applaud the Bay Dreams organisers for continuing to support waste minimisation – events like this have an important role to play in helping everyone lighten their footprint.”
CLM’s waste management plan, which has been in place since October, went into overdrive during the festival, and with help from their partners Can Plan, Waste No More, Onestaff, and volunteers the majority of waste was either composted or recycled.
Leah’s team of about 80 people, made up of volunteers and temporary staff members, worked throughout the week of the festival ensuring that litter was dealt with, and waste was sorted correctly.
“We sort through every single bin onsite to make sure that recyclable items don’t go to landfill and that non-recyclable items don’t accidentally contaminate batches of recycling.”
To make the job easier, the CLM team created custom sorting tables (see picture), designed to be at the optimal height for sorters, and used a ramp system to make sorting the waste more efficient.
As an additional win for waste reduction, festival-goers’ tents were also part of the waste minimisation effort, with the majority of tents left behind being recovered for re-use by local fundraising groups and campsites.
CLM transformed waste management at the Trafalgar Centre in 2020 with input from Council’s Rethink Waste programme.
Beverages and food create the most waste at festivals, and as a result, beer is now sold in easy-to-recycle cans rather than a plastic bottle or cup. Food vendors are contracted to serve customers food in compostable packaging.
“This is ordinary practice for us now,” says Leah. “Not just an exception for Bay Dreams. Minimising waste is a focus for all events we have here, it’s just that Bay Dreams is on a different scale!”
Bay Dreams Director Toby Burrows said it was a great result.
“As festival promoters we understand the importance of waste minimisation and diversion from landfill. We are proud to be the market leaders in this area and commend CLM on the amazing role they played in Bay Dreams 2021.”