Celebrate Mesa is an annual, family fun style festival for the local community with music, vendors, and food. Roughly 15 food trucks are at the event every year, however, composting had never been done before. All the food waste had been previously thrown away and sent to the landfill. There, food decomposes under anaerobic conditions and produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas that has approximately 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.
Composting, on the other hand, is the perfect way to help mother nature recycle. The aerobic process of composting does not produce methane because methane-producing microbes are not active in the presence of oxygen. Celebrate Mesa, which is run by the City of Mesa, wanted to increase the sustainability of their event, which led them to reach out to Green Events Services to provide composting services for their 6,000 attendees.
We recruited 4 volunteers from GreenLight Solutions to help us compost at this event. The so-called “Green Team” was mainly responsible for bin guarding and making sure attendees knew exactly which bin to place their food scraps in. The team was also responsible for sorting the bins, as needed, to make sure what went in the bins was correct. Bin contamination can lead to the bins being completely rejected at the composting site, which would have wasted the efforts of our volunteers. However, the team was properly trained in knowing what could be recycled, and were successful in their bin guarding efforts.
By the end of the event, the Green Team was able to divert 120 pounds of compost, which, in terms of emissions, is equivalent to 93 miles driven by an average four-door sedan. The compost was then distributed to our partner, Recycled City, a local small business that has the resources to properly carry out the full composting process.
Every year, U.S. food loss and waste embodies 170 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to 42 coal power plants. We must lower these emissions if we are to reduce Earth’s rate of warming, and composting is one solution. Green Events Services is looking forward to serving Celebrate Mesa’s needs in 2024, and providing composting services at other events as well!
City of Mesa: We partnered with the City of Mesa, who was organizing the whole event. They coordinated the vendors and music, as well as the waste and recycling services through their Mesa Recycles program.
Recycled City: Recycled City is a full-circle service in the Phoenix Valley that makes it easy to turn your food waste back into farmland. They are returning nutrients to the soil and using it to grow fresh, local, chemical-free produce.
The Green Team:
Author: Bryce Campbell
Bryce Campbell is a senior at Arizona State pursuing a degree in business and a minor in sustainability. Outside of GreenLight, he is a Renewable Energy Intern for Seaside Sustainability, focusing on analyzing state programs concerning the transition to cleaner energy. He enjoys finding ways to leave an impact on his local community and likes to play guitar and cook in his free time.
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