Zero Waste 2016!
Zero Waste Pennsylvania’s 2016 event season is wrapping up and has been more successful than ever! ZWPA’s events range from large, fully-staffed festivals to smaller private parties. Pittsburghers may have seen us working at The Three Rivers Arts Festival, the Pittsburgh Marathon, or perhaps at one of your local community events, such as the Penn Forest Picnic or the Colfax Carnival. As part of ZWPA’s services, the waste produced from most events is audited to track our “greening progress.” The nationally recognized Zero Waste standard is diverting 90% of an event’s waste away from landfill, and ZWPA strives to have all of our events reach that standard. Diverted waste can be sent to be composted, recycled or even repurposed or reused. Overall, there is a positive trend over time for our events, and we are proud to say that some events have already risen above the Zero Waste standard! In fact, ZWPA’s current combined diversion rate for all audited events in 2016 is 82%!
Once ZWPA audits the waste from an event, we can calculate energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction from the amount of waste diverted using the EPA’s WARM Model, which helps us better understand our environmental impact. Recycling and composting significantly reduce energy use as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Imagine the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from 15 passenger vehicles for one year – ZWPA has reduced emissions equivalent to those produced by the 15 passenger vehicles! Not only that, but this value only represents audited events from 2016. When considering ZWPA’s years of service, we have reduced much more greenhouse gas emissions than that, and the number will only continue to grow!