Nearly a month after Bele Chere, the memories from the event may have blurred for some festival-goers: What was the name of that band we liked so much? How many times did we go back to the fried dough stand? How many beers did we drink that night when we woke up feeling so groggy the next morning?
But the hordes of people flocking to Bele Chere every year do tend to leave a lasting impression — on the county landfill. Thanks to city workers’ efforts to encourage recycling this year, the festival’s impact on the planet was much lighter than usual.
Figures released by Asheville’s Sanitation Division today show a drastic improvement: In 2007, 20.34 tons of the waste collected got recycled, while just 3.31 tons went to recycling bins last year.
“This dramatic increase is attributed to several new initiatives,” the release notes. “Including: a recycling ad in the 2007 Bele Chere guide, new labels and strategic placement for recycling containers, and the presence of a city recycling coordinator who met with vendors regarding waste and recycling each day of the festival.”
— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor