Woodford Folk Festival

This year at Woodford Folk Festival we launched a new project or two while continuing to tweak systems already in place, achieving great results. It was a year for gentle improvement and exploring new ideas. In the combined work of expanding our compost collections and increasing the recycling capacity of our infrastructure (complemented by the wonderful habits of the Woodfordia community) we recorded a 15% decrease in landfill and a 5% increase in comingle recycling.

Our composting operation has grown substantially to include more volume from our audience and is looking to become even bigger in the future. Another pet project also furthered the idea of better allocating infrastructure to capture our recycling and compost, with our glorious intern Luke, from Griffith University tirelessly collecting data on our waste volumes and their origins. With some number crunching and state of the art technology we are now able to decisively say where we can improve, namely in working more closely with food stall holders to separate waste streams, providing more composting and recycling capacity on the streets, and ensuring our infrastructure and systems are scaled appropriately. With logistical constraints in mind it looks like we are up for another year of incremental change in 2014, but we have set some exciting wheels in motion and are looking forward to making Woodford greener by the minute!

IMG_0891

New Years Eve 2012

Returning to the Woodford site each year a smile comes onto my face as I drive past the swathes of Woodfordia bin trucknative trees that I helped plant just nine months ago. The care and attention that the Queensland Folk Federation put into their long term site, slowly turning it into a Parklands is indeed a motivator that fuels Garbology in its duty. This festival is the largest that Green Chief contracts to and the infrastructure and servicing is stepped up by using telehandlers and 3m bulk bins as well as the reliable 240ltr wheelie bins. The sheer size of the entertainment precinct and campgrounds demands respect and a well thought out plan of attack, which is orchestrated by 7 departments and maintained by 2 telehandler drivers all working under the Garbology banner.

IMG_0517For the most part the sun shines and the grounds are spotless and we know that our systems and scheduling is working. And so to the fine-tuning. The biggest balance we need to strike is placing infrastructure such as 3m bins in places where patrons see and use them (food courts, main walkways, by stages) Vs maintaining the integrity of venue facades, food vendor access and on site artworks. It would seem that nobody thinks a bin is pretty, no matter what colour lid sits atop it. Be assured, this is an opinion not only felt by Woodfordians, but by festivals across the land.

And so a dream is born. A bin that is functional, educational and compliments artwork- a balance  between these three integral facets is needed before the perfect bin station is born. A bin too well disguised by pretty stickers results in the public missing the chance to dispose of their rubbish correctly. A bin that is too educational results in confusion. And one that is too functional? Too ugly. Many ideas are thrown around by the 100 strong volunteers and management- dressing the bins in skirts perhaps?  Should each bin become an interactive installation, an art piece in it’s own right? Or could each bin be sponsored and decorated by festivillians? Or how about a binless utopia where no disposable items are allowed on site? The possibilities are endless, the practicable solutions it would seem are few. We’ll keep you updated.

New Years Eve 2011

 Green Chief took a big step up when both Amie and Madeleine were recruited to work at the incredible Woodford Folk Festival. The world renowned new years eve event on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland peaked at 95,000 attendees this year, and amid the massive crowds and top quality production we got to play with a few new and interesting toys and systems while learning the ropes and the rites of Woodfordia.

Waste wise, we saw a lot of compostable materials end up in the recycling as the compost collection only took place behind the scenes. Maybe next year we can collect more of this for the wonderful on-site worm farm managed by our illustrious colleague Gerry, to put all those biodegradable cups and plates to good use.

We were pleasantly surprised to see the strong Woodford culture come to the fore when it was time to clean up and go – the campsites were left in almost immaculate condition! This just goes to show what a difference it makes when the community feels a sense of ownership, of returning to a place that’s special to their hearts. The people of Woodfordia walk the walk when it comes to respecting their home.

While the days were spent trying to stay on top of waste volumes, we did manage to squeeze in a few nights out on the town to see the sights and bond with our new Woodford family. It is an honour to be involved with this world class event and be welcomed into their tight-nit culture.