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Big events in Lane County have option to reduce trash with reusable dishware

Guy gets food from vendor in a real bowl.
Lane County Waste Wise
Waste Wise Lane County is partnering with the City of Eugene and Action Rent-All & Events to provide reusable dishware for two upcoming large-scale community events in Springfield and Eugene to potentially divert thousands of plates, bowls, and utensils from the landfill.

In an effort to reduce the massive amount of waste generated during large-scale, community events, Lane County Waste Wise has launched a re-usable dishware program.

The new Sustainable Event Services program provides real plates, bowls, cups and utensils to food vendors. When the customer is done eating and drinking, the dishware goes into clearly marked bins instead of trash cans.

Waste Reduction Outreach Coordinator Dan Hiestand said the program does more than benefit the environment.

“From a business standpoint, it really can lead to some cost savings so businesses that do utilize the service. They don’t have to go out and purchase those often expensive, disposable dishware that they normally do,” Hiestand said.

The durable dishware program was piloted in Eugene during the World Athletics Championships in 2022. Hiestand said an estimated 10,000 pieces of service ware were kept out of the landfill.

Put the dishes away.
Lane County Waste Wise
Instead of piling paper or plastic waste in cans during big events, Lane County encourages using the Sustainable Event Services program to mitigate trash.

The reusable dishware program will be used during two upcoming Lane County events: the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration on May 17, at Guy Lee Elementary in Springfield and the Wildflower & Music Festival on May 19, at Mount Pisgah Arboretum.

According to a press release from Waste Wise Lane County, the program allows producers or vendors to reserve up to 1,000 9-inch plates, 1,000 11-inch plates, 700 bowls, 1,500 cups, 2,450 forks, 1,275 spoons, 750 table knives, and eight water bottle refilling stations for single or multi-day events.

The Waste Wise website lists fees for the service starting at $25 per dishware type, per day.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.