As John Mayer said at a press conference last Saturday, any concert produces a massive amount of waste. What Live Earth is attempting to do is to create a road map that other music venues can follow to alleviate as much of that impact as possible. Inside the stadium walls, the organizers had the right idea with clearly marked recycle, waste, and compost bins. Outside however — where a fair share of concert-goers partied before the event, all that was apparently visible were bins. No separate bins were to be scene.
Now, there’s one thing to understand from all this: a large portion of the garbage (sorted and unsorted) is scooped up by cleanup facilities and actually “sorted” off-site. So for those that were worried it was all headed for the landfill, fear not. In our discussions with concert organizers, it was remarked that even sorted trash inside the facility would probably be “resorted” at the waste management plant. It was the act of recycling — to get people involved in thinking about what they were throwing away — that really mattered. These are the lessons that might make their way home.
So, for future reference, sure — it would be great to have separate bins in the parking lots for people to participate in making smart choices. There’s always more that can be done. Simply talking about it is an excellent first step.