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Lane County Fair Goes Green

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EUGENE, Ore. — The Lane County Fair kicked off its recycling efforts Wednesday as it opened up the gates.

Stop by the fairgrounds this week and you’ll see bigger and improved Sanipac stations with recycle bins, garbage bins and descriptions about how you can help the environment.

“Not only are we recycling, we’re composting, and last year at our 2011 fair we had an 82 percent diversion rate, so 82 percent, so that means 82 percent of our waste stayed out of the landfill,” said Rachel Bivens, Lane County Fair Organizer.

Every year the fair teams up with Sanipac, which brought out its duck truck for opening day to teach the community about how to be responsible with trash and promote green features the fair has to offer.

“Last year we did 78 percent of recyclable materials, and we’re trying to increase that this year. One of the things we added was composting materials, so all of the beer gardens have comestible cups,” said Jill Barwell of Sanipac.

Not only do the compostable cups help the environment, but businesses benefit too.

“It’s win-win. Business still moves fortunately or unfortunately by economic concerns so it’s much easier for a business to accept an environmentally sound product, when it is competitively priced,” said Bob Jensen, Wild Duck Cafe Owner.

According to fair organizers, most fairs across the country recycle or compost about 50-60 percent of the trash collected. And even though the Lane County Fair is at 80 percent, organizers don’t plan to stop their efforts anytime soon.

“Over the years we’ve sort of evolved our system. We’ve used various methods of collections. We’ve used sorting teams. We really have strived this year to make the signage a little bit more clear so that people can figure out what needs to go in what bin so that we don’t have any issues with that, and we have seen our rates go up and up and up each year,” Bivens said.

If you want to learn more about composting or recycling, the Sanipac duck truck will be out at the fairgrounds all week.

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