10, 2007 - The City of Knoxville is pleased to be among the
organizations partnering with Keep Knoxville Beautiful to make Sundown
in the City a zero-waste event.
weekly concert series that begins April 12 will bring thousands
of music lovers to Market Square every Thursday evening into late
But in addition to the beautiful sounds and good times the events
will also produce a few thousand pounds of trash - something Knoxville
would like to reduce.
With the help of Keep Knoxville Beautiful and it's other partners
involved with a new waste reduction project the city hopes to do
just that and keep thousands of pounds of trash out of its landfills.
It approached Keep Knoxville Beautiful after it assisted in coordinating
a zero waste effort to reduce waste materials at the 2006 Knoxville
Earthfest from two tons to 150 pounds and asked if the organization
could apply a similar strategy to Sundown in the City.
"We did a study at Sundown last year and found that between
one-and-a-half to two to three tons (of trash) per show is generated
depending on the attendance," said John Homa, the city's solid
waste specialist. "It's food and drink wastes mostly and, sometimes
people bring materials into the site that really should not be there.
In addition, we've still got restaurants open downtown and the vendors
for the shows."
"So it's quite a lot of material when you start to audit the
site," he said.
Tom Salter, executive director of Keep Knoxville Beautiful, indicated
that the organization was excited about the effort and noted that
the 1.5 to 2 tons of wastes normally produced by the Sundown in
the City concerts typically end up in our landfills.
Organizing Sundown as a zero waste event means that the materials
generated on site will be collected for composting and recycling.
City crews will take part in that effort.
Recycling booths will be set up around the concert site and recycling
containers will be placed in visible areas.
Vendors have also agreed to distribute recyclable plastics and
corn-resin based materials instead of non-recyclable materials like
Styrofoam and tin foil.
By limiting what is distributed and providing recycling and composting
receptacles, the amount of trash sent to the landfill can be greatly
Salter indicated that everyone could play a role in this effort.
"To make Sundown zero-waste successful we are going to need
help from concert goers," he said. "We hope that Knoxville
citizens will volunteer their time with us during the concert to
monitor the recycling containers and change out bags if they get
full. Volunteers are also needed to assist people who come to the
recycle tents to throw their items in the correct containers."
Salter and Catherine Wilt of the University of Tennessee have received
a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop
the waste reduction process created for EarthFest 2006 and Sundown
into a "Zero-waste Event Guide" for use across the Southeast.
Other partners in the zero-waste effort with Keep Knoxville Beautiful
are AC Entertainment, the Environmental Protection Agency, Advanced
Polymer Recycling, Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership, University
of Tennessee, SP Recycling and Knox County.