Reduce, reuse and recycle – a familiar eco-friendly mantra that we are putting a bigger emphasis on this festival season. Recycling has always been a priority of Charleston Wine + Food, but this valiant endeavour has not been an easy task. While the City of Charleston assists in disposing cardboard + glass after events, this year, we are also partnering with Smart Recycling to elevate our recycling efforts through a compost, recycle + trash initiative. Our shared mission is to reduce trash and generate creative ways to upcycle food waste from the festival. A significant amount of waste is unavoidable as a food + beverage festival, but we are excited to leave a greener legacy, one that recycles smarter, reduces the carbon footprint, and prioritizes Charleston’s environmental future.

This year’s compost program will serve as a trial run to establish best practices for sorting festival waste. Our guests will see three bins this year, one for recycling, one for trash, and one for compost. Volunteers will staff each station to assist guests in disposing everything from merlot-stained plastic cups to remaining morsels of food. The majority of festival waste comes from the Culinary Village, so for this first year our recycling program will live in the village. And the best news?  We use biodegradable products, so almost everything will be able to be composted or recycled.

Composted products take just a short 30-40 days to turn into rich viable soil, so within a month’s time local farmers will be utilizing compost produced directly from the festival. The effectiveness of the Smart Recycling partnership will be tracked through the number of times each bin is dumped, with the hope that this effort will result in a significant reduction in the amount of garbage produced and an increase in compostable materials.

Smart Recycling will train festival volunteers and help facilitate the trash + composting process. Our very own Erin Connolly and Lauren Turgeon are championing our recycling program, and shared this secondary goal of training volunteers to understand the difference between the items for compost, recycle, and trash to not only reduce festival waste but also help educate and motivate guests to continue recycling + composting at home.
We are proud stewards of the land, protecting + preserving the beauty of the #1 city in the world. So we ask you to join our eco-friendly initiative and help us #PourIntoCharleston.