The Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce will once again partner with Recology of San Mateo County and the City of Menlo Park to promote and encourage Zero Waste at Menlo Summer Fest, Menlo Park's popular festival of the arts, July 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Santa Cruz Avenue.
"Every day we talk about ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle," said Fran Dehn, President/CEO of the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. "We're on a mission to make this a Zero Waste festival — it's a big priority for us and something we diligently plan for and try to improve every year."
The festival has taken steps to make it easier than ever for festivalgoers and vendors to conserve resources by recycling and composting. Food vendors will be required to use recyclable and compostable foodware. Specially marked containers will be placed in the food areas for composting left-over food scraps including meat and bones, paper plates, cups, chopsticks, skewers and napkins. Food vendors will be provided with separate composting containers placed behind their booths.
This material will be collected and added to Recology's existing Commercial Composting collection program. "We're delighted and pleased to partner again with the Chamber of Commerce and appreciate the concerted effort they've made," said Gino Gasparini, Community Affairs Manager for Recology of San Mateo County. "The festival has made great strides the past few years and these efforts will further help the city of Menlo Park in meeting the State's mandated diversion efforts."
Recycling is another major component of the "greening" effort. Free-standing containers will be positioned throughout the festival pedestrian route for recycling glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Additionally, there will be large recycling containers for cardboard and mixed paper as well as glass, plastic and aluminum in strategic locations for event staff, vendors and sponsors. Beer, margaritas and mojitos will be served in recyclable plastic cups (as well as in festival glassware).
"It's our goal to make sure we're doing everything possible to maximize recycling and minimize waste," said Dehn.
The festival is also encouraging the use of public transportation and bicycles to minimize carbon emissions and reduce vehicular traffic. Downtown Menlo Park has more than 80 bicycle parking racks along Santa Cruz Avenue. The Caltrain/Samtrans station conveniently drops riders off one short block from the festival.