Big conference, and really big recycling programs

At the Bioneers Conference, held at the Marin Center in San Rafael, California last weekend, I saw that recycling programs can be done on a large-scale — even at events attended by thousands of people.

I’m sure it helps if event attendees have a green mindset already….but still, a lot of credit goes to Bioneers and the team of Marin Country organizations that made it so easy to recycle (or compost) trash.

Recycling and waste “eco” station bins were placed all around the conference grounds, conference venues and event tents. To help educate and sort out your trash, the stations were usually staffed by someone from the Conservation Corp North Bay (CCNB), a youth job training and education program, who made sure bottles, cans, paper, food waste and compostable utensils go into the correct bin.












If a CCNB staff member is not available, there are pictures on top of each bin, to tell you what items can go in for recycling or composting, with a bin option for “Landfill”.

The same system employed at the Bioneers conference, helped the Marin Country Fair — a five-day event attended by 115,000 people — earn the status of “The Greenest County Fair on Earth”.  At last year’s fair, they were able to divert 90% of the waste created at the fair from going to the landfill.  Ninety percent?  That is really amazing!

Here is a comment from Jennie Pardi, Community Recycling Program Coordinator for CCNB, on the Marin County Fair success:

“It is so rewarding to be part of an event this big that is setting an example and being successful at reducing waste. If a county fair with 100,000+ people can do this, then we can all do it in our daily lives.  This is such an important step in conserving our valuable natural resources.”

More proof that waste management and recycling programs — at large events — is possible and happening now.  Yes!  We can all work together to leave a cleaner environment for our grandchildren.

And if other counties in California — and beyond — use these methods at large events… wow, what a difference that will make!

For more information CCNB’s job training and education program for youths, click on the Conservation Corps logo or here.










To read about the team that worked to make the Marin County Fair “The Greenest County Fair on Earth”, click on this link.

South Korea’s recycling success

With most cities or municipalities providing receptacles for recyclables, I  still don’t understand why there are still those who do not recycle.  I suppose if the cost of trash containers (and garbage pick up) increased by 50%, that would get more attention for recycling.

Photo from scottchan's portfolio,

South Korea is now way into the “green” movement — but it was not so a few decades ago.   As the country got very rich, people had lots of money to buy lots of stuff, and as a result, lots of stuff needed to be thrown away.

But because the country had limited landfill space (which is not the case here in the USA), they pretty much had no choice but to institute strict recycling policies.

In South Korea,  it is free to recycle waste, and anything else that must be disposed of or headed to the landfill is charged a fee based on the quantity.

The country went from producing enormous amounts of trash to a culture of  recycling and a more “green” mindset.

Here is a link to an interesting and humorous article from a BBC correspondent’s experience with South Korea’s enthusiasm for recycling.