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Northumberland County teams up with Rotary Club of Cobourg for first zero-waste Ribfest in Northumberland

Posted on Wednesday August 08, 2018
County & Rotary Club for Cobourg team up for zero-waste Ribfest

Cobourg, ON – August 8, 2018 – Northumberland County and the Rotary Club of Cobourg are working together to organize Northumberland’s first zero-waste Ribfest. The 12th annual Northumberland Ribfest, to be hosted by the Rotary Club of Cobourg in Victoria Park from August 17 to 19, will feature the same delicious food and family-fun entertainment as always; however, the event will have a significantly smaller ‘waste line’.

Recognizing that Ribfest produces a large amount of organic waste, Northumberland County approached the Rotary Club of Cobourg in February 2018 to invite them to collaborate on the zero-waste initiative. The County proposed a new recycling and garbage management approach for the event that will help both the County and Rotary Club of Cobourg reach their com­mon goal of reducing the amount of food waste going to the landfill from the event.

“We are excited to partner with the Rotary Club of Cobourg on Northumber­land’s first zero-waste Ribfest,” states County Director of Transportation and Waste Mo Pannu. “Using the zero-waste approach, we expect to achieve ap­proximately 80-90% waste diversion from this event. These efforts align with the County’s long-term goal of 75% waste diversion county-wide, which is out­lined in our Long Term Waste Management Master Plan.”

This new approach requires vendors to use only compostable or recyclable containers and cutlery, and includes the introduction of waste sorting stations. Two waste sorting stations will be conveniently located within the event grounds to make the waste disposal process easier for attendees and more effective for waste diversion. Waste station volunteers will invite event at­tendees to leave their garbage and recycling at the station, where volunteers will then sort the waste to ensure all products are properly disposed of.

Prior to this initiative, most food waste from the event went to the landfill rather than being disposed as compostable material. As part of this year’s zero-waste approach, all organic material will now be going to an organics pro­cessing facility in Belleville called SusGlobal Energy Belleville. By ensuring that both compostable and recyclable materials are ending­­ up in their proper destinations, the amount of organic and recyclable waste that may have other­wise ended up in the landfill is reduced and transformed into reusable materi­als instead.

"We are happy to be able to share that our free-admission, family-friendly event now has an increased focus on being environmentally-friendly, as well,” states Rotary Club of Cobourg member Elaine McDermott. “Attendees can now enjoy ribs, chicken, pulled pork and other delicious eats at Ribfest while feeling certain that their waste is being disposed of as efficiently as possible. Knowing that this event will leave only positive impacts on our community gives our team a great sense of pride.”

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