Jump Jive ‘n Dumpster Dive: G.A.L.A. Ramps up Recycling @ OVMF

Jump n’ Jive n’ Dumpster Dive by Brittany Boles

“Rise and shine; it’s recycling time!”  The mantra motivating a total of 20 G.A.L.A. volunteers during last weekend’s Ossipee Valley Music Festival (OVMF) had everyone grinning long before the banjoes and guitars began each day.  For the first time in OVMF history, there were no heaps of stinky garbage overflowing throughout, but most importantly the envisioned recycling efforts finally came to fruition with a little G.A.L.A.’s guidance.

Utilizing our new G.A.L.A. WVO-powered truck, volunteers did morning and afternoon rounds to the 30+ garbage and recycling stations throughout the festival, emptying the bins and tossing the full bags onto the truck to be sorted into 3 categories:  trash, cardboard, and redeemable recyclables.  Not heat, nor broken bags, nor “garbage swill” could deter the eager volunteers from their goal of keeping the festival clean and green.

Festival goers young and old stopped to thank our volunteers and toss their own garbage bags into the appropriate bins.  The difference was notable, and it was obvious that people were grateful for the much-improved waste management system.

At the end of the weekend, we couldn’t help but stare in awe at the massive collection of recyclables G.A.L.A. had diverted from the landfill (see photos on our website at http://www.flickr.com/photos/galacommunity).  Two heaping truck-loads of redeemables, , a total of 10,447 bottles and cans, were dropped off at the local Kezar Falls Redemption Center a few miles down the road, completely filling their front room from floor to ceiling with what would become re-used and/or recycled plastic, glass, and metal.

We learned from Kelly, the owner/operator of the Center, more specifics about what items would actually be eligible for redemption:  only unbroken glass and non-squished plastic and cans could be turned in.  Next year we will make an effort to educate the festi-folk about the requirements so that we can save even MORE trash from filling up our landfills.

In addition to the garbage collecting and recycling project, G.A.L.A. operated an Organic Blueberry Smoothie booth on the main stage lawn.  $3 got eager fans a fresh, cold blueberry smoothie made to order with our bike-powered blender! The booth was also a venue for informing the masses about G.A.L.A.’s involvement in the recycling and trash project and for urging people to volunteer for next year’s festival.

While bluegrass bands were picking and strumming their guitars, G.A.L.A. volunteers were picking up the garbage, and the result was good, clean vibes for all!

Check out pictures from the weekend here.

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