Zero Waste Goals Achieved At Mountainfilm Dinner

by Kris Holstrom

The New Community Coalition worked hand in hand with Telluride Mountainfilm staff to brainstorm composting, recycling and trash reduction this year. The opening event, on May 21, was the dinner for the filmmakers and guests at a beautiful spot high up in the Preserve.

The evening was damp and delightful and included delicious food by Lucas Price and an amazing mix of interesting people. Even better, from the waste side of things, it was a total success.

 Zero is not always a good thing. It's an insult when used to describe a person. Describing waste is a whole other story, but in that context, zero is so difficult to achieve, it is often stated as a goal, rather than as something truly possible. Thursday night raised the bar: Mountainfilm got about as close as you can get.

With my trusty recycling coordinator, Walter Wright, and excellent volunteer (and daughter), Kelsey Holstrom, we staffed the waste stations (and mingled a bit as well). End result: Compostables, 100% successful. All the plates, utensils, cups, napkins and scrap food (not much there) went into the polycarts for processing at SUNRISE’s Illium Resource Recovery Park. All the wine and beer bottles went into the recycling bins. One water bottle someone brought made its way into the bin as well.

Trash? Almost none, or, statistically insignificant. The plastic corks from the lovely wines served and the plastic wrap covering the food trays on their journey from town to mountain was it. Volume of trash?  About 1/3 a standard sized kitchen trash bag. Volume of recycling? One and a half cans full (30 gallon size). Volume of compostables? Three polycarts full.

Thanks to Mountainfilm for all their work on this event. Though green efforts continued throughout the weekend – for example, the nonprofit generated electricity in our local grid by using bio-diesel-powered generators and hydropower – this dinner was worthy of a special report.

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