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Sunday July 23rd 2017

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Assisting Parade and Festival Waste Collection: May Day Green Team

BY THE MAY DAY GREEN TEAM

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s May Day Parade and Festival are the result of thousands of hours of planning, preparation, and performance.  Truth-be-told, many feel that the process of building the parade is more exciting than the event itself. Imagine that! This gathering of hundreds of volunteers–all ages, varying years of participating, different cultures—united in presenting these events—is a community building-miracle.

HOBT’s May Day Parade and Festival leave a trail of excitement and good will. The Parade and Festival also leave a trail of waste, recycling and compost! That people gather to responsibly collect and dispose of that waste is also a community building-miracle—and we call that miracle The May Day Green Team.

The May Day Green Team’s objective is to assist waste collection along the Parade route and manage the trash, recycling, and composting at the Festival in order to make the event “Zero-Waste” with the goal to recycle or compost at least 80% of the waste. This year’s collected waste weighed 2218 pounds ( 1080 lbs. of compost, 630 lbs. of recycling, and 508 lbs. for the landfill.)

The team also wants to continue other “green” initiatives like using reusable plates. This year, with the help of Kabomelette, a food truck serving kabobs, rice, and omelettes owned by Chelsea and Greg Miller; and Jos.E. Palen Restaurant Supply, 500 people ate kabobs on reusable/washable plates. Chelsea Miller from Kabomelette said serving on washable plates at the May Day Festival was “easy-peasy.”

Being prepared to handle 2218 pounds of compost, recycling and waste on May Day takes a lot of planning. Before the festival, the team determines the appropriate number and placement of trash, recycling, and organics carts based on previous years and creates a plan for trash/recycling along the parade route. This year, Green Team volunteers asked residents along the parade route to use their own Recycling/Garbage carts along parade route to help manage litter. Yeah Bloomington Ave residents!!!

The May Day Green Team planning group meets monthly from Jan through late March and weekly in April and May. During those months, we recruit 80 volunteers to be Green Team leads and waste station monitors. In April we contact all the vendors to make sure they understand that their food can only be served using compostable materials. Recently, the Green Team has pre-ordered bulk compostable materials to make available to May Day vendors at great savings.

Every year there are new ideas and new challenges. Could all the vendors use washable plates, and if so, where can we get thousands of plates, and where can we wash them? YIKES! Just tending to over a ton of compost, recycling, and waste wears us out by sunset on May Day! We could use your ideas and your help on the May Day Green Team.

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