Have you used the recycling containers at the Marshfield Fair? Did you know that some Fair vendors compost their food waste on site? Merchants who embrace the Fair’s resource recovery efforts proudly display their green ribbons in their booths.
Since the South Shore Recycling Cooperative (SSRC) got a MassDEP grant to get the good stuff out of the Fair’s trash in 2004, nearly 50 tons of bottles and cans, cardboard and leftover food have been rescued. Better yet, Fair trash sent for disposal was down by nearly half last year, from 50 tons before recycling began to 27 tons in 2011. This not only helps the planet, but it saves the Fair money on disposal.
The Marshfield Agricultural and Horticultural Society, which operates the Fair,
would like to send even less “too good for the” trash to the incinerator. The SSRC continues to help with that noble endeavor. From August 17-26, look for
new signs, a dozen more recycling carts and a second compost area, thanks to
another grant to the SSRC from MassDEP.
Two double-sided recycling signs will vividly show Fairgoers and vendors alike what items should land in the recycling carts and bins on one side, and how much waste can be avoided at home on the other.
New signs for the two compost areas (one behind the administration building, the
other on the far side of the grandstand) explain how composting works.
Your plants will love the compost made from last year’s Fair leftovers, available at
the SSRC/DEP exhibit under the grandstand, while supplies last. You can also enter to win a free compost bin, pick up information about how to get your own low cost bin, and instructions on how to do it yourself.
All this material doesn’t magically get recycled. Dozens of volunteer Recycling Ambassadors, organized by MassDEP’s Ann McGovern, will descend on the Fairgrounds the day before the Fair starts to line and distribute recycling carts and bins throughout the Fairgrounds, scoop compost into bags, and set up the exhibit. During the Fair they will monitor the trash and recycling bins, consolidate the bottles and cans for the Grounds Crew to pick up, help vendors flatten their cardboard and bring leftovers to the compost bins. They talk to Fairgoers about the system, manage the compost area, and give green ribbons to the most helpful vendors. When it’s all over, Ann and a cadre of cleanup folks will help the Grounds Crew with a final sweep. Del Prete and Sons Trucking provides large containers and hauling service for the cardboard, bottles and cans at no charge.
It’s a bit of effort, but very satisfying. If all the drink containers had a deposit on
them, it would be even more “rewarding”, as the water and sports drink bottles
would have redemption value. But until the Legislature finally passes an update to our 30 year old Bottle Bill, we will depend on Fairgoers to put their bottles in the right containers, and on the volunteers to help manage them.
Carts and bins are available for use at other events on the South Shore during the rest of the year. Contact Claire at email@example.com or 781-329-8318 to arrange for a loan! Pickup and dropoff are the responsibility of the borrower.
If you come to the Fair, look for the signs, congratulate the vendors with the green ribbons, and think of what you are saving when you use the recycling receptacles. Most ofall, have fun!