A Trash Bash’s Goal of Zero Waste, Soon to be Reached?

The events that make the biggest impact on the attendants do not have to leave an impact on the earth. Executive Director, Jan Hamilton with the CARTM Recycling Center in Manzanita, Oregon, developed an event which produces almost entirely no waste.

They started it in 1998 and on Friday, May 20, 2011 it will be their 13th annual Trash Bash. This is a community party with dancing, art and a fashion “Trashion” show all dedicated to recycling, re-using, and the non-wasting of materials.

The festival takes place on a nine-acre plot from 5pm – 9pm and hosts the mighty goal of 100% zero waste from the approximate 1000 visitors. So far they have not reached their zero waste goal, but they are very close. In 2009, one smuggled in trash bag was the one item of waste and in 2010 three snack chip bags were the left-behind culprits. But no other event nationwide can lay claim to even a close second in the name of zero waste. CARTM wrote,

“According to a 2006 California study, a typical event generates four pounds of garbage per person – so, for a 1,000-person event to produce less than one ounce of landfill is a remarkable achievement. Even zero-waste events themselves typically produce about one ounce of trash per person, which means that, for the past two years, Trash Bash has been roughly 62.4 pounds ahead of the national average.”

CARTM is a private, non-profit organization that collects community trash, separates, re-uses, reduces, and recycles all the materials that are possible into new products or new-to-you items. The proceeds from their re-use sales fund the recycling center. They are dedicated year-round to making the small community of Manzanita devoted to recycling. Events like Trash Bash help to renew the spirit and continue the encouragement. Hamilton stated,

“When people are here, they’re thinking about zero waste, and when they go home, they’re thinking about zero waste… It inspires them to think about repurposing, to look at everything in a different way.”

Zero waste events have been given the nickname of ZeeWees. The ZeeWee Trash Bash has no trash containers, only recycling bins and staff stationed at each bin to direct where waste should be placed, i.e. food vs. its containers, etc.

Mosaic Trash Art

This year’s festival will cost $5.00 for adult admission and is free to children twelve years and younger.

Art categories that can be found and entered for Trash Bash 2011 are welding, wearable art to be showcased in the Trashion Show, and mosaics. Two new categories this year are pop art and collage art. All of these, again, are only with the re-use of existing materials/products into new designed goods.

Trashion Shows are becoming more trendy but zero waste events are still almost unheard of. Hamilton and the CARTM Recycling Center are setting the bar high and leading by the ultimate example; going green can be a party!

Resources: Bates Views, Sustainable Communities Online, Daily Astorian