When the weather warms and the sun is shining, we know that the outdoor festival and event season is upon us! So, let us re-introduce ourselves and our responsible event waste management services to you.
Event-goers come to expect our bins and our staff at events in and around Calgary. Even more so now that The City of Calgary has rolled out its green cart compost program for single-family residences. Recycling and compost by-laws are now implemented for multi-family residences, businesses, institutions and commercial operations. This is such exciting news!
It is not without its challenges, though. We still live in a time and a place where it is easier and cheaper to throw resources in the landfill, where they truly live up to their namesake – waste. Profit is not inherently a dirty word, but it can be a disappointing one when doing right by our people and planet are considered “extras”.
We acknowledge that it is difficult in our current economic climate and framework to do right by everyone and everything. We also acknowledge that there is a growing appreciation for waste reduction and diversion in our social consciousness – and an effective way to do it.
We developed our specialized event waste management services after observing the negative environmental impacts of events on the space and community they were hosted in. Overflowing garbage bins and litter covering the ground were not uncommon. Valuable resources like refundable bottles and cans, and organic material would all be landfilled. Without a team dedicated to diligently changing bags on the collection bins, and monitoring the site for overflowing bins, trash inevitably collects and increases the risk of entering our precious fresh water ways.
We are a social enterprise. This means that our goals to affect social change are embedded in how we do business. We don’t exist to merely “do good”, we exist to do better.
This also means that our service does have a cost to event organizers. Managing the huge quantities of waste that events produce is no small feat! Our staff believe in our mission of working towards zero waste, and work incredibly, incredibly hard to achieve it. Every member of our staff receives safety training, personal protective equipment, uniform, is WCB insured, and is paid a living wage.
Events will often share volunteers with us to help educate guests about the different streams of resource collection, and we love that! What you don’t see behind the scenes, where the true value of our integrated service approach is our staff doing the logistics, heavy lifting, transporting, sorting, and responsible disposal.
Green Event Services is an employment opportunity for youth, students, those facing barriers to employment and those seeking flexible work. Staff return season after season for a chance to make a difference in our community. We welcome you to meet some of our Green Team!
Over our five seasons of operation we have diverted 234,506 kg of material to compost and recycling that would otherwise be occupying space in our municipal landfills. This equates to 3221 full beer kegs, for a visual reference.
The even better news is the increase in waste diversion we have seen at some of your favourite events over the years have jumped from in and around zero to as much as 99%.
This is in huge part to events recognizing that they can transform their negative environmental impact into a positive one. In many cases our staff work with an event to implement compostable or reusable food ware. And, this is due to you – the guest! – for participating and advocating for the health of our community.
We all value our clean drinking water, our healthy parks and wildlife population, and our people who need and desire meaningful employment that financially supports them in the city they live in.
When you see our bins and our staff out at an event, share a thank you with our friendly Green Team, a thank you to vendors for using compostable food ware, or better yet, reusable! Share a thank you to the event on social media for choosing to reduce their environmental impact through best-practice waste management.
We also encourage you to ask an event, “why not?” if you don’t see a responsible waste reduction and diversion initiative. As a city, we have the tools to do the right thing. Collectively, we need to choose to do so. Let’s work towards zero waste.
You know what to look for! We hope to see you out there.