Encouraging People at Festivals to Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse Cups

The Milwaukee Irish Fest, the Be Smart Coalition, and Keep Greater, Milwaukee Beautiful, Inc., co-operated to pilot a project promoting waste reduction at a Milwaukee Irish Fest. The focus was to educate the community, concerning waste reduction, cup reuse, cup recycling, and vendor information. To educate and involve the community, tools including prompts, incentives, norms, and communication were used. During the, festival, people were encouraged to either keep their souvenir cups or, recycle them at designated collection containers. As an incentive to, encourage people to use the recyclable souvenir cups, customers were given, soda refills at a reduced price. Prompts to remind people to use the recyclable cups were in the form of signs that said Be Smart (Save Money And, Reduce Trash). Displays, games and prizes with a waste reduction theme were, used at the festival. All three were used as forms of communication to, educate people on waste reduction, as well as provide incentives and prompts, to encourage people to reduce waste at the festival and at home. Cups could, then be taken home to encourage others to reuse and recycle.

All 7,500 souvenir cups were sold and it was estimated that visitors, took over 5,000 home. Staff also counted 500 refills. The remaining cups, collected for recycling were made into a "recycled lumber" picnic table. It was estimated that the festival efforts in recycling and reducing lead to a, 20-25% reduction in waste compared to the previous year.
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