LaFete de Marquette Compost Effort Huge Success

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 6:27am

On Thursday, the City of Madison partnered with The Willy St. Coop, the Wil-Mar Center, and Palo Verde Zero Waste Planning on a special event composting effort. The result of those efforts was a 96% landfill diversion.

The special one day composting effort was designed to show that composting efforts could result in significant waste reduction and to test the ability of event staff to manage the efforts. The efforts encompassed the first day of LaFete de Marquette and the Willy St. Coop's annual membership dinner and meeting. The event used compostable cups, plates, and cutlery.

Composting 1,040 pounds
Recycling 101 pounds
Landfilled Trash 57 pounds

"We proved that you can incorporate composting efforts into an outdoor festival setting where food is served to over 4,000 people," Madison recycling coordinator George Dreckmann said. "The effort took some advanced planning but with a commitment to composting you can divert almost all the trash from the landfill."

Palo Verde Zero Waste Planning led the efforts and coordinated the purchasing of compostable products, set up the collection system, and recruited volunteers.

"The event was a big success for everyone involved," said Paul Abramson of Palo Verde. "The attendees had a great time and they really did not notice any change in the experience. The only difference came when it was time to discard their waste. Instead of two containers, there were three. By making all the utensils and containers compostable it was simple for them to use the system."

"This event proved that special event composting can work," Dreckmann said. "We will continue to expand to other events with the ultimate goal of making composting a part of all of Madison's great festivals."


  • George P. Dreckmann267-2626