When performers take the stage in Rose Tree Park throughout the 2022 Summer Festival, another group of “stars” will work behind the scenes helping to sort recyclables from trash as the first step the festival’s commitment to “zero waste.” This year, concertgoers will have an opportunity to deposit their aluminum, plastic and glass bottles and cans, as well as cardboard and paper products, into 26 new dual-stream waste and recycling stations located throughout the park, ensuring that the materials collected meet the industry’s highest standards and can be fully recycled.
“We’re excited to introduce recycling stations and view it as the first step in expanding our goal of becoming Zero Waste,” according to Beth Ann Chapman, of Delaware County Parks and Recreation. “This summer, people can sort recyclables from trash, and in future years, we hope to add compost bins to reach our goal of diverting 90% or more material from landfill through a system of reuse, recovery, recycling and composting.”
The 26 waste stations – 6 permanent units located throughout the park and 20 portable units used for events – are made possible by a grant from Can’d Aid Crush It Crusade in partnership with Eco-Cycle, DELCO Parks and Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC).
A corps of volunteers is needed to staff the waste stations at 40+ events, each Wednesday through Sundays beginning June 15 and concluding August 14.
“We’re recruiting hundreds of ‘Zero Waste Goalies’ who are ready to use their mitts to redirect the trajectory of what’s being tossed into the recycling and trash bins,” according to Darren Spielman, Executive Director of PRC, which will oversee the recycling effort throughout the summer. “Enabling a festival that attracts 40,000-plus people over a nine-week period to embrace the zero-waste approach speaks volumes about Delaware County Parks’ commitment to sustainability, and the willingness of individuals to volunteer speaks volumes about those who will help us to launch the program.”
On each concert day, individuals, families and groups can volunteer to work a two-hour shift (6 – 8 p.m. or 8 – 10 p.m.) or the entire evening (6 – 10 p.m.). To sign up, visit prc.org/RoseTreeRecycling and click on the volunteer link. In preparation for their on-site recycling role, all volunteers will be invited to take part in an online webinar to learn details of serving as a Zero Waste Goalie.
“Such large-scale events are important opportunities to remind people they can strive to be zero waste in their everyday lives,” said Spielman. “So we also encourage everyone coming to a concert this year to consider packing a zero waste meal or snack by using a picnic basket, reusable containers, silverware, cloth napkins and other materials that leave no trace or trash behind.”
Elaine Paul Schaefer, County Council Vice Chair and liaison to the Parks and Recreation Department, said, “County Council is committed to making Delaware County a leader in sustainability on every front, and this recycling pilot project is a great kick-start to improving our recycling efforts. We are so grateful for the partnership with PRC, a fabulous organization that continues to support and encourage sustainability in Delco.”
CLICK HERE to view the 2022 Rose Tree Summer Festival schedule.