Back at Almar Orchards for the RF Events Scrumpy Skedaddle, featuring incredible organic hard cider, and a pancake breakfast provided by Chris Cakes of Michigan. And where I either reached a new high in Zero Waste, or a new low. Depends on your point of view.
Here’s a chance to test your estimation skill. How many syrup packets are soaking in this sink? Answer at the end of the report. I’ll give you a hint – there were 600 registered runners, plus another 100 or so spectators eating breakfast there.
The race was capped at 600 this year, for several reasons, so we felt comfortable with one Zero Waste station, in the back by the pancake area as usual.
There was minimal trash at the registration area and start line, which I took back to the station to sort. We put out one “All Waste” cart by the entrance to the building where cider was served. It collected mostly finish line water bottles, with one exception: an orchard staffer must have taken our sign too seriously, for a bag of obvious non-event waste wound up in there. I took out the recyclables and repatriated the remainder to an orchard trash can.
The 5K and 10K races went fine, and the expected rain held off (mostly), so a lot of people enjoyed their pancakes and cider outside as usual, while others ate and listened to a live band inside. Regardless, they were all directed to our Zero Waste station on the way out, where we took their compostable plates and forks, and saved leftover food for the orchard’s pigs who, as always, were most appreciative.
And for the first time ever at Scrumpy, we got down to the “baggie” of landfill! Just five ounces of tape and such out of 240 lbs. total waste handled!
Challenges included lack of volunteers (thanks again to my friend Debbie for all her help), yellow jackets bingeing on syrup, and the individual syrup packets. Chris Cakes went away from pump jugs due to CDC guidelines, they said. So we tossed them all into what I thought would be an extra landfill bucket. No way we could get them clean enough to recycle. Right? Ummm…..right, Jeff?
Sigh. I knew all along I’d give it a try (I’m terrible at self-delusion), so into my laundry tub they went. Which is why I know exactly how many were in there.
The answer? 626. Plus about 30 discarded unopened, which we gave back to Chris Cakes. And thus the baggie was made possible.