2012-Sustainability-Report2The Organic Beer Fest goes beyond beer tasting by striving to be the most earth-friendly beer festival in North America. Onsite compost and recycling containers are provided at the event. Electricity needs are met with biodiesel generators. Volunteers wear organic cotton and hemp t-shirts, and all event signage is reusable. Vendors promote sustainable living through their wares and services, and attendees are encouraged to take Tri-Met or ride their bikes to the event.

Important Changes to our Sustainability Practices

NAOBF_2011_Event_Recycling_Signs-smIn previous years, the festival has been able to include approved compostable beer cups, plates, utensils and food-soiled paper products in the compost bins. However, the region’s commercial/event food scraps program has changed and the rules are much stricter. As a result, only food scraps can go in the compost bins. Napkins, plates, cups, utensils, etc. can no longer be included in the compost bins.

Why has this changed?

As the region’s commercial/event composting program has grown, so has the volume of “compostable” non-food items such as plates, cups, napkins, etc. These non-food items are difficult to handle at processing facilities, and they’re putting the entire commercial composting program at risk. Collecting only food scraps (and excluding the non-food items) is critical to maintain a stable regional composting program. The region’s commercial food scraps program is a valuable way to generate electricity, create compost for farms and gardens, and reduce greenhouse gases, so the festival is committed to ensuring that we provide only the materials that are most valuable to this program.

The Organic Beer Fest is still committed to being as sustainable as possible.

Despite these changes, the festival has a strong sustainability focus and is committed to minimizing waste as much as possible. We will continue to work with vendors to reduce waste and enforce comprehensive event recycling plan. During this transition period and in the years to come, the festival will continue to explore options for effective waste management.hops-right

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