Mt. Airy Village Fair 2019: Community Sustains Their Efforts To Produce Another Low-Waste Fair

Alisa Shargorodsky, Weavers Way Zero Waste Consultant

The Mt. Airy Village Fair is an incredible display of community, and one of the ways that’s demonstrated is in the work we do to embody sustainability by going zero waste. We have a few key members who come forward to help with planning and to make sure we can get this massive job done.

See a gallery of photos from the Fair at the bottom of this page

We also get cooperation in this effort from food trucks. All of the food vendors sign a zero waste agreement stating that they will omit any disposables and only use compostable wares to sell their food. Almost everyone participates, which is why we are able to generate such an unbelievably small amount of waste.

This year, we generated 77 pounds of trash, 190 pounds of compost and 51 pounds of recycling for an event that typically draws 4,000 people. There is some waste generated by the Weavers Way grill that can be avoided, and this will require a little additional planning going forward. My hope is that next year, the grill manager will connect with me so that we can see what can be done regarding the waste from rolls that come in plastic bags. This can be avoided by purchasing rolls from Amoroso’s in cardboard flats that they will take back. We also have the ability to make our own hamburger patties and sausages. This would drastically cut down on grill waste.

We were super impressed with the Plastic Reduction Task Force and their T-shirt bag-making table. Arielle Tennenbaum, PRTF committee member, said many of the participants were excited about the project, “…from little kids practicing how to tie knots, to teens looking for a cool upcycled accessory, to adults wanting to upcycle memorable shirts. It was wonderful and fun and we had so many awesome conversations about reducing plastic. I’m looking forward to seeing the bags in action at the Co-op!”

We are really grateful to the community for being patient with the time lag in cup accessibility; we will definitely be ordering more cups for next year. Also, it was wonderful to see so many people understanding the process more and more and providing kind feedback.

Please know that we could not pull this off without our dedicated volunteers and participants. See you next year!