Outstanding recycling results achieved at Multicultural Festival

Shane Rattenbury, MLA

Recycling at this year’s Multicultural Festival saw more than 8.5 tonnes of mixed recycling diverted from landfill, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Rachel Stephen-Smith announced today.

“As an event focused on food and fun that regularly attracts big crowds, there’s little doubt the Multicultural Festival creates a lot of waste,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

“Festival organisers and Actsmart again teamed up to ensure as much recycling as possible from one of Canberra’s biggest events.

“Over 8.5 tonnes of mixed recycling, such as plastic cups, paper plates and cans, were recovered. Additionally, 4500 litres of grey water and 900 litres of cooking oil was collected and disposed of responsibly – more than double last year’s efforts.”

Minister Rattenbury said these figures are a tribute to organisers, festival goers, the Actsmart team and WasteAway who have together made the festival more sustainable than any previous year.

“The commitment of attendees and stall holders to recycling material was fantastic. In addition to the improved recycling systems, Transport Canberra and City Services also reported a significant decrease in the amount of litter left in the city during and after the festival,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“There is growing community awareness that what you pour down the drain affects our lakes and waterways and all the fish, plants birds and animals that live there. Recovering cooking oil and greywater ensured these did not contaminate the stormwater system in the city.

“This was the seventh year the festival organisers and Actsmart have teamed up to ensure as much recycling as possible is recovered from one of Canberra’s biggest events.

“The figures are the result of important work by the Actsmart team who were on hand to support organisers with advice, on-site recycling stations and signage. Actsmart representatives were also on hand for the entire three days at their festival information and education stall.

“This shows that we can hold a major event like the Multicultural Festival and do a brilliant job reducing any negative impact on the environment,” Minister Rattenbury said.