Amid the music, art, wine, craft beer and culinary delights at BottleRock Napa Valley, something was missing. That something was piles of trash.
This year, Latitude 38 Entertainment, the producers of the three-day festival, and the Napa Valley Expo, home of BottleRock Napa Valley teamed up on their commitment to reduce waste and significantly increase the amount of material to be recycled and composted.
“We’re glad to have partnered with Zero Hero, Napa Valley Expo, Sustainable Napa County, Napa Recycling & Waste Services and Best Beverage Catering. It was a collaborative effort to keep the venue, surrounding neighborhoods and downtown clean and reduce the waste that would end up in our landfill,” started Jason Scoggins, Latitude 38 Entertainment co-founder and partner. “We feel good about the results of this first year partnership and we hope to do even better next year and beyond.”
Their efforts paid off. Over the course of the three-day festival nearly 50 tons of recycling was hauled away by Napa Recycling and Waste Services (NRWS). In addition, close to 4 tons of food waste will be composted by NRWS and returned to yards and gardens throughout Napa Valley. Tim Dewey-Mattia, Recycling and Public Education Manager of NRWS said “It was gratifying to haul 2/3 of the event waste – over 100,000 pounds - to our local recycling and composting facility instead of to the landfill.” Continued Mattia, “We can turn the wine bottles back to into wine bottles and the food scraps into locally used organic compost. I’ve coordinated recycling and composting at special events for 15 years and the greening efforts at BottleRock went as smoothly and successfully as at any large event that I can remember.”
Key to the success of this year’s effort was the creation of a BottleRock sustainability team made up of local stakeholders including NRWS and Sustainable Napa County. In addition the Napa Valley Expo contracted with ZeroHero to manage trash, compost and recycling programs throughout the grounds and to provide the green team to help attendees dispose of items in the right receptacles in both public spaces and behind the scenes. Explained Joe Anderson, Napa Valley Expo’s CEO, “One of our goals is to reduce waste materials destined for landfill disposal and maximize recycling opportunities for our guests and staff. The Expo recycles because it saves resources, saves energy, reduces pollution and it is the right thing to do. With the addition of ZeroHero we took a big leap in reaching that goal.”
The impressive diversion numbers also included waste management from the several event parking lots and the city streets and neighborhoods surrounding the 26-acre Expo grounds, insuring that disposing of trash and recycling stayed top of mind even as attendees filed out of the festival at day’s end. “65% diversion is an excellent number. However, something stands out about the sustainability program at BottleRock that is unique,” adds Bryan Birch, Founder of ZeroHero. “I’m impressed that BottleRock has the foresight to extend its stewardship programs outside of the venue, such as the recycling and litter pickup service we provide in the Juarez neighborhood and downtown to minimize the festival’s impact around Napa. That attitude speaks volumes about the respect we want to maintain among our neighbors and city.”
The BottleRock sustainability team also made it a priority to communicate diversion goals with food and beverage vendors and with attendees, a key component to the success of the effort. Said Jeri Gill, CEO of Sustainable Napa County, “Making vendors and guests feel like partners in the effort to reduce, reuse and recycle was key to this effort. Sharing the responsibility - and the success - is what made this program work so well.”
The BottleRock sustainability team is already making plans for next year and aims to even more drastically decrease the amount of material that ends up in the landfill and increase the amount of recycling and food composting.
About BottleRock Napa Valley:
BottleRock Napa Valley brings the world’s top touring artists on four different stages, while master sommeliers and celebrity chefs rub shoulders with guests in an intimate festival setting. Dozens of the region’s finest restaurateurs, vintners and brewers offer the best in food, wine, and craft brews to complement the music and create an authentic wine country experience for festival guests. The non-profit sponsor and beneficiary of BottleRock Napa Valley 2015 is the Napa Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation.
About Latitude 38 Entertainment:
Formed in 2013, the vision of Latitude 38 Entertainment is to blend world-class music, food, wine, brew and community to enhance and elevate Napa Valley’s offerings and reputation as a world-class destination in which to live, work and play.