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22 DEC 2022

Cobargo Folk Festival brings the community together for a sustainable celebration

At this year’s folk festival in Cobargo, organisers adopted a zero landfill approach, and managed to keep the amount of waste going to landfill for a festival of several thousand people to just three wheelie bins—partly thanks to Return and Earn.

“A large part of this success was due to the decision to replace the red-lidded landfill bins with bins for organic matter (food and soiled paper), co-mingled recycling, and eligible drink containers to be recycled through the Return and Earn scheme,” said Hugh Pitty, the festival’s Sustainability and Recycling Team Leader.

All eight of the bin stations at the festival in May were staffed by volunteers who helped keep cross-contamination of waste to a minimum. Attendees were also asked to be responsible for taking any single use plastics they happened to bring to the festival back home with them.

“After two cancellations and one postponement this year’s Cobargo Folk Festival was not only a healing event for a bruised community, but a good news story for those committed to protecting our environment,” said Hugh.

He added that the community is highly aware of the pressure placed on the Bega Valley’s landfill space after the destruction of over 400 homes in the Black Summer Fires.

By the end of the Cobargo Folk Festival they had collected 25,000 bottles and cans, which the Cobargo Scouts took to the automated depot in Queanbeyan – helping them reach $2,500 that will go towards subsiding scout activities such as camps.

You can find out more about donations here.

Return and Earn is a partnership between the NSW Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway.