Again this year, many of western Pennsylvania’s largest festivals, footraces and fundraisers will share a common theme – waste reduction – as Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC), a statewide environmental organization dedicated to reducing waste, aims to lessen event waste through its Zero Waste program. Kicking off in spring, PRC will partner with numerous large-scale events including the Pittsburgh Marathon, Walk MS Pittsburgh and Millvale Music Festival to achieve waste minimization and diversion via a system that coordinates planning, logistics, vendor selection, and onsite management.

“In addition to greening festivals and fundraisers, PRC offers commercial businesses, institutions and local governments across the state a wide variety of Zero Waste services including technical assistance, audits and analysis,” explains PRC Executive Director Darren Spielman. “Since launching the Zero Waste program in 2009, PRC has worked to prevent an immeasurable volume of waste from ever being produced and to divert 550 tons of material from landfill and limit the toxicity from discarded products to Pennsylvania’s land, air and water.”

At Zero Waste events, PRC staff members serve as ambassadors to educate patrons and assist them with properly sorting waste to maximize diversion.  On-site efforts result in diverting tons of material from landfills to become valuable compost and recycled products and create jobs in recovery and re-manufacturing. “Event organizers work with our PRC team to pursue innovative waste reduction and management practices with an ultimate goal of diverting 90% or more material from landfill through a system of reuse, recovery, recycling and composting,” says Chesapeake First, PRC Zero Waste Events Coordinator.  “At 28 events last year PRC’s Zero Waste efforts diverted 73,000 pounds of waste.”

Spring 2023 PRC Zero Waste events will include:

  • Steel Chef Cook-Off: March 27
  • Walk MS Pittsburgh: April 16
  • Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend: May 5–7
  • Pittonkatonk: May 13
  • Millvale Music Festival: May 19–20
  • Pour at the Park: May 20
  • Kayafest: May 28

According to Spielman, “The success and growth of PRC’s Zero Waste program is the result of a team effort, and we thank the many partners, funders, volunteers, supporters and individuals who have participated in our events over the years.  We invite those just learning of these important efforts to join us in 2023.”

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