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Glastonbury expands it’s recycling plans

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The organisers of Glastonbury Festival will be providing recycling facilities for more waste streams than ever this year, with a special collection point for spent batteries and broken electrical devices. The Festival, the largest in the UK with the annual attendance at Michael Eavis’s Worthy Farm now topping 177,000 people has a long history of recycling and already recycles paper, plastics, cans, bottles and food waste over the site and this year will add waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to the list of materials possible to recycle. It is envisaged that the bulk of the WEEE will be created by the festival itself, rather than those attending, but there will also be a collection point for batteries. Waste management company Midex will provide a safe storage cage for the collection of the WEEE which will be used for the gathering and safe movement of redundant equipment throughout the event. At the end of the Festival, the disused equipment will be transported to a sophisticated facility for processing, where it will be broken down into component parts and shredded in line with the Environment Agency’s requirements. The Festival has a long track record of trying to reduce its environmental impact, with previous measures including compost toilets and the distribution of biodegradable tent pegs manufactured from potato starch and has the message ‘Love The Farm – Leave no Trace’ – and festival organisers say that they want festivals goers to think responsibly when they are packing there things to come to Glastonbury. They ask fans not to bring items that will end up in Landfill, or that they won’t be able to take back home again. “Limit what you bring, and clean up behind you.” The festival commits to continuing its policy of reducing the percentage of waste that goes to landfill, by placing controls on what is bought on site by staff, contractors, sponsors and traders and by emphasis on their responsibility not to bring items that will end in landfill. 50% of the rubbish is recycled. All cans, glass, paper, wood and organic waste are separated and recycled. 15, 000 bins around the site clearly identified for either wet and dry recyclable materials or non-recyclable rubbish. In 2008 the festival recycled 105 tonnes of composted organic waste, 725 tonnes of chipped wood, 80 tonnes of hardcore, 15 tonnes of glass, 48 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 25 tonnes of cardboard, 20 tonnes of scrap metal, 20 tonnes of clothing, tents, sleeping bags. 1150 tonnes of waste was recycled.