Food truck rodeo encourages Durham residents to be 'waste-wise'

Dive Brief:

  • Over the weekend, Durham Central Park officials in Durham, NC hosted a Labor Day food truck rodeo in partnership with Keep Durham Beautiful and Don't Waste Durham. The event, which showcased 55 food trucks, was aimed at urging residents to recycle and compost more frequently. 
  • Keep America Beautiful gave officials a $10,000 grant, which inspired the idea of using the food truck rodeo as a pilot for a waste-reduction program, according to Erin Victor, outreach and volunteer coordinator with Keep Durham Beautiful. 
  • The food truck rodeos are reoccurring events in Durham. The last rodeo in June gave volunteers the opportunity to collect 694 pounds of compostable items and 391 pounds of recyclable items, diverting them from the landfill. The next rodeo is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Dive Insight:Copy

In order to tackle the problems of food waste and recyclables ending up in landfills, municipalities must do more to educate the public about solid waste issues and how they can be prevented. By hosting events — such as the food truck rodeos — city officials are partnering fun with education to induce public participation.

The food truck rodeo events were chosen for a pilot waste-reduction program because of the amount of food waste and recyclables that the events produce. The grant that was awarded to Durham officials was used to hire local compost hauler Food FWD. Additionally, officials were able to promote sustainability on the food trucks by getting vendors to stop using Styrofoam products and individual condiment packets.

"Towards the end of the day, what you’ll notice is that we have only been through one trash bag, but we’ve been through three each of the recycling and compost bags," said Keep Durham Beautiful Executive Director Tania Dautlick. "Sometimes people throw it in too fast, and we have to pick it out."

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Filed Under: Recycling
Top image credit: Flickr