Organizers of an outdoor music festival that begins tonight in Iowa’s capital city are taking steps to reduce the amount of waste typically produced by such a large event. Justin Shoen is president of the Des Moines Music Coalition, the nonprofit organization that runs the 80/35 Music Festival.
His group has partnered with RecycleMe Iowa and others to recycle materials that might otherwise end up in a landfill.
“They’re helping to really push the recycling effort to make sure every bit of material that can be recycled is recycled,” Shoen says. “In addition, we’ll be composting all food scraps and paper. We’ll have people out there educating the (festival) attendees as to what they can and can’t compost and recycle. The idea is to have as little going into the landfill as we can.”
Around 30,000 people are expected to attend the festival in downtown Des Moines tonight and all day Saturday. Shoen says there will be plenty of water for music fans to keep cool in the extreme heat. And they won’t need to pay for or waste a lot of plastic water bottles.
“We want to allow them to bring their own water bottle. We’ll have two fill up stations,” Shoen said. Patrons are allowed to bring one empty water bottle to refill for free on the festival grounds. There will also be two “rain tents” for festival goers to walk through and cool off.
This the fifth year for 80/35. The featured acts this year include The Avett Brothers, Dinosaur Jr., Leftover Salmon and Death Cab For Cutie.