Beverage association puts effort into fairgrounds collection

Beverage association puts effort into fairgrounds collection

Minnesota Beverage Association places recycling bins throughout state fair site.

August 30, 2016

Keeping beverage containers out of waste cans has been much easier at the 2016 version of the Minnesota State Fair, if a program led by the Minnesota Beverage Association is producing its intended result. The fair runs from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5, 2016.


The association says the State Fair Committee in Minnesota “moved well in advance of the opening to build the capacity to recycle on the fairgrounds, expanding the locations across the 320 acres.”


The Minnesota Beverage Association and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America have combined to provide a grant to fund the purchase of 260 additional recycling bins for the 2016 fair. These bins joined with an existing 435 units and with 100 owned by the state fair to gain placement next to more than half of the waste containers located throughout the expansive site, which is expected to see nearly 2 million visitors for the event. The Minnesota State Fair Foundation helped coordinate the effort.


“Minnesota’s nonalcoholic beverage industry is proud to support efforts that positively impact the environmental health of our great state,” says Tim Wilkin, president of the Minnesota Beverage Association. “Our industry has a record of leading the way on environmental stewardship, as evidenced by our 100-percent-recyclable containers and our support for recycling whether you’re at home or on the go.”


Jerry Hammer, general manager of the Minnesota State Fair, says it’s even easier to recycle now at the fair. “We appreciate the support from the Minnesota Beverage Association and the American Beverage Foundation to help the fair have even more recycling.”


Based on experience, the fair has to handle more than 1,000 tons of waste material over the course of its 12-day run, or a little more than 83 tons per day. Past analysis of the contents of waste bins that were not near a recycling bin found that the waste bins contained about 80 percent recyclable material. That number drops to between 5 and 10 percent when the waste bin is accompanied by a recycling bin.


Thus, the groups say, dramatically increasing the number of recycling bins near waste containers can be expected to substantially increase the percentage of material diverted to the recycling stream.


Sustainability consultants for the fair will analyze the outcomes at the 2016 fair to determine the impact of the expansion of available recycling bins.


The recycling bins acquired for use at the fair will be made available to organizations and communities around the state for use during their own events, outside of the state fair dates, the organizations involved say.


The Minnesota Beverage Association’s members are producers, marketers and distributors of non-alcoholic beverages imaginable. The American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America says it strives to make a significant contribution to the health of local communities by providing grants to support community organizations that work to advance both the physical health of their local citizens and the environmental health of their communities. The Minnesota State Fair Foundation says its mission is to preserve and improve the historic Minnesota State Fairgrounds.