Beglika Fest’s waste management philosophy, or how to consume less and make materials last longer
This year with your help we will try to separate and recycle as much waste as possible over the course of the festival. Do not be surprised if some of the places for food and drinks ask you to leave a deposit for a beer cup or a plate, so that you keep them and use them till the end of the festival. And why don’t we bring our own real mugs or cups, plates, forks and spoons? This way we won’t have to throw away dozens of plastic cups and plates after each meal or drink…
HOW AND WHERE SHOULD WE THROW OUR WASTE
There will be around 30 stations for separate waste collection: in Camp 1 and 2, as well as within the festival area. We divide waste into 4 categories, each of which is marked with a different color: yellow for plastics and metals (bottles, plastic bags, packaging), blue for paper, cardboard and Tetra Pak (packs of juices), green for glass and gray-black for other waste that is not suitable for recycling, especially packaging contaminated with food. Within the festival area there will be 3 composters – special places for food waste (i.e. organic waste) disposal. What is most important in separate collection is not to mix food waste with recyclables (plastic, paper, glass, metal).
Thanks to Ekopack, recyclables will be given a new lease of life. All we need to do is sort them properly and for that purpose, please see the Waste Separation Guide. It is especially important not to dispose of food waste in the colored bags, as this will make recyclable materials unusable. For example, if you have an oily paper plate, it’s better throw it away in a gray-black bag for general waste instead of in a blue bag for paper.
A team of volunteers will hover around each station to provide care and help for the proper waste separation. Recognize them by the colored bracelets on their hands and help them. This will make it easier for everyone, and especially for nature.
COMPOSTERS AND COMPOST TOILTES
Food Waste is one of the most important, it must be separated from the other types of waste materials. This will prevent contamination and make recycling easier. Food waste is also the easiest one to return to nature, and most importantly – we get compost (a kind of natural fertilizer).
You wonder what composting is?
Composting is Nature’s way to process and recycle organic waste. This is an aerobic process (decomposition in the presence of oxygen), the end result of which is an exceptionally useful product: compost, a natural soil amendment, extremely rich in nutrients for our plants. Thus, by making use of our organic waste, we improve the characteristics of the forest soil. 
HOW TO COMPOST CORRECTLY
What we should put in the composters!
Food waste – preferably raw (fruit and vegetable peels), coffee, tea bags, filters, broken egg shells. In order to get compost, we have to cover these “green” organic waste materials with sawdust, fresh and dry leaves, cut grass, pine cones and pine needles.
What we should not put in the composters!
The following can create unpleasant smell and attract rodents and insects:
- Meat, fish and bones
- Dairy products
- Oils and animal fats
The following may contain substances harmful to plants:
- Charcoal ashes or ashes from chemically treated wood materials
- Cigarette filters
The following may contain parasites, worms, including intestinal worms, pathogens or viruses harmful to people:
- Dog and cat excrements
As usual we will set up compost toilets for the festival, thus trying to reduce human pollution, creating fertilizer and saving water, and lat but not least – reducing unpleasant smells.
How does the compost toilet work and how do we use it?
Compost microorganisms such as earthworms, fungi and other visible and invisible creatures will start doing their work only when we mix human waste with other organic waste materials – that is why there will be a sack of sawdust in each toilet, so that we can throw in a handful after each visit. It balances the nitrogen which is good for our little friends and prevents any bad odor. When the festival ends, we will cover the compost toilets with dry materials and leave the little composters to do their thing for a year and turn everything into soil.
You can read more about compost toilets here:
One step closer to Zero Waste strategy
Although recycling brings us closer to the solution, the problem with waste is much more complex and begins with the production of the product which we will throw out in the end. That is why we’d like to point your attention to the Zero Waste strategy.
Zero Waste is a strategy that combines community practices, such as reusing, repairing, recycling, removal of harmful chemicals and composting, with industrial practices like eliminating toxins and redesigning products. Since the only 100% effective system we know is nature, Zero Waste works in the same direction, including activities aimed at reducing the amount and toxicity of waste, separate collection, composting, repairing and reusing objects and materials. The need to adopt such a strategy is underlined by the fact that nearly 94 % of the resources used in production turn into waste even before the product gets finished, and we throw away 80 % of the products within 6 months after they were produced.
You can find more information on Zero Waste strategy here:
Waste Separation Guide
Use the provided container only for paper and cardboard waste, such as:
– newspapers and magazines;
– empty juice and milk cartons;
– cardboard boxes and other paper or cardboard packages;
– paper boxes from sweets, candy, shoes, egg cartons, etc.;
– paper bags and sacks.
The following must not be disposed of in the paper collection container:
– biowaste such as paper towels, sanitary products, cigarette butts;
– very dirty or greasy paper or cardboard waste (e.g. a greasy pizza box);
– paper with special coatings (e.g. metal or plastic foil);
– any non-paper waste.
Paper and cardboard boxes must be flattened and folded.
Please note! Recycling plants accept only clean paper!
If you contaminate the clean paper by throwing in organic waste, grease, construction waste, mud-covered branches and leaves, you’ll destroy the work of everybody before that and stop the recycling process!
– Every ton of recycled paper saves 13 trees.
– 1 kg of recycled paper saves 32 liters of drinking water compared to non-recycled paper.
– Each ton of recycled paper saves 4 kWh of energy.
– Paper can be recycled 5 to 7 times before it disintegrates.
– 90% of all cardboard packages can be recycled.
Use the provided container only for plastic waste from packages, such as:
– plastic bottles from water, soft drinks, cooking oil and beer;
– yoghurt containers and milk plastic bottles;
– tubes/bottles/containers from cosmetic and hygiene products;
– plastic cups and plates /cleaned up from food/, pallets and crates;
– beverage metal cans and clean food tins/cans;
– jar lids and bottle caps;
– plastic bags, stretch wrap and bubble wrap.
The following must not be disposed of in the plastic collection container:
– blister packs, containers for machine oil and other toxic substances;
– electrical appliances, car parts, etc.;
– non-plastic waste.
Before disposing of plastic packaging:
1) Empty and clean them /e.g. wipe off the grease with a napkin or wash them with water/;
2) Flatten the bottles by rolling them, so that you get the air out and reduce their volume, then close them with the cap.
Please note! Plastics take years to disintegrate and are the biggest source of pollution in nature!
Be careful and do not throw cigarette butts in the plastic waste. Once ignited, burning plastics are very difficult to extinguish and pollute the air with toxic fumes.
Plastics are very light, but take up a lot of space. We need to flatten them as much as possible, so that we can fit in more in the truck. Thus we save fuel and reduce the toxic emissions created during transportation.
– A ton of recycled plastics safes the amount of energy an average Bulgarian household would use over the course of 2 years;
– The energy, released while recycling an aluminum can, is enough to power a TV for 3 hours;
– 1250 kg of aluminum waste can be turned into a ton of aluminum – aluminum can be completely recycled and reused endlessly.
– Recycling a ton of steel saves 1,5 tons of iron ore, requires 40% less water, 75% less energy and 85 % less carbon emissions.
Use the provided container only for glass waste from packaging:
– any kind of food jars;
– bottles in any shape and color;
– small glass jars/bottles/containers from cosmetic products.
Please do not dispose of the following in the separate waste collection containers:
– broken glasses and plates;
– porcelain and heat-resistant glass products;
– light bulbs, including luminescent ones;
– panes of glass and mirrors;
– car glass.
Before placing glass waste products:
1) Remove caps and lids;
2) Remove the contents /glass itself is heavy/
3) If you have the chance, rinse them /it is not obligatory, but helps prevent dirt getting stuck on them/.
Please note! Mason jar/bottle glass and flat (window) glass are recycled in a different manner -that is why they must not be mixed.
Pieces of rock and porcelain are the greatest obstructions in glass recycling, since they cannot be melted in the furnaces.
Glass can be recycled endlessly /some say 2,000 times but who has the time to count?/.
– Recycling one bottle of glass saves enough energy to power your computer for 25 minutes or your washing machine for 10 minutes.
– 1 ton of recycled glass saves 600 kg of quartz sand;
– 1 ton of recycled glass saves 180 kg of sodium hydroxide (lye);
– 1 ton of recycled glass cuts CO2 emissions by 315 kg;
– Glass is 100% recyclable.
From the team of Za Zemyata Environmental Association
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