Public events create huge amounts of litter that usually end up in landfills. The Cities of Service Waste Watchers Blueprint outlines ways to engage volunteers to increase recycling and reduce waste.
City events such as marathons, bicycle races, art festivals, and holiday parades often generate a considerable amount of litter and waste. Without planning in advance to incorproate recycling into the event, this waste will typically head straight to a landfill. Landfills generate a great deal of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps radiation in the earth's atmosphere and is a key contributor to global warming. By supporting recycling at public events, Waste Watchers is an effective way for mayors to stem the flow of waste into landfills.
To ensure Waste Watchers' success, the mayor's office must identify a dedicated Waste Watchers Coordinator responsible for successful implementation of the initiative and recruiting and training volunteers. The mayor's office and the Coordinator engage the city agency leads responsible for public works, sustainability, and waste management and local partners involved in public event planning, volunteer engagement, and the waste diversion process.
Executing The Plan
The Waste Watchers Coordinator conducts an initial planning meeting, recruits and trains volunteers in waste diversion, and identifies partners and organizations with expertise in waste management and recycling. After the event, Waste Watchers volunteers are encouraged to become advocates for recycling, reducing their own trash output, and increasing their recycling efforts.
The mayor's office collects data and surveys volunteers to ensure that Waste Watchers has a positive impact on the environment and on the volunteers who participate in the waste diversion initiative. Required metrics include the number of public events at which Waste Watchers is implemented, the percentage of event waste diverted from landfills, and the pounds of waste recycled.