It’s music festival season. Locally, North Yorkshire’s Deer Shed Festival has just taken place near Topcliffe. This year’s family friendly event attracted 10,000 festival goers over the weekend, enjoying a mixed programme of music, activities and entertainment.
Of course, the logistics of organisation don’t stop at entertaining the crowds. This is a community for the weekend and all their needs require catering for.
Todd Waste Management was privileged to have the Festival’s contract for waste disposal and recycling. Five skips collected 24.2 tonnes of rubbish recovered from the site and taken to the company’s Thirsk waste transfer station where it was sorted for recycling with none going to landfill.
However, this pales into insignificance compared to the Glastonbury Festival. This temporary town of 175,000 people over 800 acres generates 2-3,000 tonnes of waste in the course of the five day event, including around 1 million plastic bottles.
This scale of event requires special measures and, in Glastonbury’s case, involves constructing a temporary dry recycling facility at the heart of the festival site. A team of 3,500 volunteers collect mixed waste, which is tipped on to eight conveyor belts attended by 100 pickers – two teams work six hour shifts. Sorted waste emerges in individual streams ready to be then taken to a recycling depot.
In a typical year, the festival recycles: 114 tonnes of composted organic waste, 400 tonnes of chipped wood, 23 tonnes of glass, 85 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tonnes of cardboard, 162 tonnes of scrap metal, 0.264 tonnes of batteries, 3 tonnes of dense plastic and 0.25 tonnes plastic sheets. Festival goers are bombarded with the message to reuse plastic bottles, recycle other waste and take their camping kit home although only about half of Glastonbury’s waste is recycled.
The region’s next major music festival is the Leeds Festival later this month. Wish for fair weather!