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Westside

August 7, 2013

State Fair ramps up recycling efforts

INDIANAPOLIS - Attendees of this year’s Indiana State Fair should notice more than 4-H animals, rides, and a giant ball of popcorn.

Keep America Beautiful is teaming with the Alcoa Foundation and the Indiana Recycling Coalition for a recycling program at the state fair.

About 60 recycling bins have been placed throughout the fairgrounds for visitors to utilize.

“We have way more bins available to the public this year,” said Kelly Dennings, senior director of recycling programs for Keep America Beautiful.

The bins are also more prominently decorated. Dennings says in the past they were a bit nondescript and confusing. The public ended up mixing a lot of garbage in with recyclable products.

“They’re now yellow and green, and clearly state what’s acceptable in them,” Dennings said. “We also have flags that tell you where recycling bins are, and you can still see them in a sea of people.”

In a perfect example of recycling, the old bins are now being used by vendors and concessionaires at the fair.

“It’s kind of a two-pronged approach,” Dennings said of the program.

Past recycling efforts at the fair have resulted in 14 to 15 tons of recyclables being collected.

“That’s average for such a large public event,” Dennings said. “We’ll actively track the data this year in hopes of improving upon those numbers.”

This larger recycling effort is the result of a commitment Keep America Beautiful made with the Clinton Global Initiative to host a recycling program at one state fair and two county fairs nationwide.

“We have a strong affiliate here as well as a state recycling organization,” Dennings said. “The fair has been super receptive to us.”

To continue the mission, Keep America Beautiful also is training workers at other such large-scale events on how they can help with recycling efforts. As well, the Indiana Recycling Coalition has an educational booth at the state fair for the public.

“We really hope this empowers other fairs and gives them the information they need to do this as well,” Dennings said.

For more information, visit the websites at kab.org or IndianaRecycling.org.

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