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Folklife Festival Sustainability Success

Posted on July 24, 2014 by in The OFI Blog

Smithsonian Office of Facilities Management and Reliability (OFMR) talk about their success with the sustainability of the Folklife Festival this year.


A volunteer helps Ridley and Sarah with the composting collection from a Resource Recovery station.

This summer, OFMR Interns Ridley Vann and Sarah Gaines have been working to make the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival the greenest festival on the National Mall. The two-week event produced over 40 tons of waste, 93% of which was either composted or recycled – a 19% improvement from last year. Sarah and Ridley managed over a dozen Resource Recovery stations for waste separation and ensured that the food and drink concessions distributed only compostable utensils and serving containers.

In addition to their work on the ground at the Festival, Ridley and Sarah co-authored a special edition of the Sustainability Matters Newsletter detailing their sustainability efforts, which was released midway through the Festival.  They also presented the accomplishments of their sustainability initiative at the Council of Governments Recycling Committee and will do a similar presentation for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sustainability intern Ridley Vann hefts a bag of compost into the collection truck. Photo by Hillary Cleary, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution