Nearly 20 tonnes of rubbish sorted twice at Esperanzah!
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    Nearly 20 tonnes of rubbish sorted twice at Esperanzah!

    Credit: Belga

    The Esperanzah! festival had recycling bins and there was also a system to make sure all the rubbish left behind was sorted twice.  

    The festival was held at Floreffe abbey and it ended on Sunday. Nearly 20 tonnes of rubbish had been sorted twice by the end of the festival. This is a great example of sustainability. 

    There were 60 bins (divided into four compartments) scattered over and around the festival site. Around 200 volunteers from associations hired by the festival walked around collecting the different bin compartments, which were then emptied into bigger bins at the main sorting centre and the festival campsite. The idea was to make sure all the rubbish went to the right place. Cartons, PMCs, biodegradables and non-recyclable domestic waste items were all painstakingly separated out. Every bag emptied was then reused. 

    “We have been doing it like this for around 10 years,” says head of recycling Thomas Ducarne. “We saw the proportion of domestic waste leaving our site drop from 305 to 157 grams per visitor between 2011 and 2018.” 

    “People generally want to play along, but they sometimes get it wrong,” he said. “For example, we find plastic containers in the PMC bin instead of the domestic waste one. Our Green Team is there to sort it all out and inform the public so they can put their rubbish in the right place. It’s a big investment and massive logistical operation, but it’s very important to us.” 

    In 2019, only 5 to 6 tonnes of the 20 tonnes of rubbish generated by the 30 thousand or so festival-goers could not be recycled. The organisers hope to do even better in the future.

    Sarah Johansson

    The Brussels Times