Waste is one of those things we, as civilized humans, don’t like to talk about. But the fact is, it’s an unavoidable byproduct of life. One of the common misconceptions about festival “waste” is that it only refers to what goes in the landfill…
“Waste” actually refers to all of those things generated at the festival that you don’t want to take home with you - which includes compost, recycling, and the smell of those unshowered pickers at the camp next door.
In the modern world, we’ve built complex systems to deal with waste once we’re done with it. While infrastructure differs wildly by location, most places in the developed world are equipped with sewage and trash systems.
In Boulder County, we are lucky to be in the vicinity of one of the most robust diversion systems in the state. Because of this, it’s relatively easy for us to process our refuse, including compost and recyclables. We also get detailed data from our waste management partners, who are able to report on both volume and weight. In 2018, we achieved a 60% diversion rate at RockyGrass. Although this was lower than our 2017 rate of 68%, we decreased the total amount of waste created at our festival by 20%.