New festival partnership a win for combating waste

More than 70% percent of all waste generated at this year’s Blues on Broadbeach on the Gold Coast was diverted from landfill thanks to a successful new partnership with waste management provider Clean Vibes.

Just over 37m3 of rubbish was diverted from landfill for recycling and reuse purposes, which equated to 71% of all waste generated from the festival. On top of this, more than 17,000 cans and bottles were recycled through the Containers for Change refund scheme.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick said the results were very encouraging.

“To be able to divert from landfill more than 70% of the waste generated during our Blues on Broadbeach festival is a great win for the environment and we’re confident we can keep on improving our waste management practices across all MEGC’s festivals,” said Ms McCormick.

In March, Clean Vibes become the Official Cleaning and Waste Management Services Provider for all four of MEGC’s festivals in 2023, including Blues on Broadbeach, Cooly Rocks On and the upcoming SPRINGTIME and Groundwater Country Music Festival.

Some of the initiatives that have been introduced at MEGC’s festivals are waste sorting onsite and implementing the can and bottle return scheme. Clean Vibes also use waste stream bin covers to promote and educate festival patrons about waste separation, and the recent results show festival fans are getting on board to help do their bit to reduce waste.

There was so much organic waste collected and sorted onsite that the crew had to take over general waste bins for organic waste.

Clean Vibes National Operations Manager Nick Viner said the Blues on Broadbeach results were a great outcome for an unfenced free music festival layout.

“Blues on Broadbeach for 2023 was a huge success on the sustainability front with Clean Vibes working very closely with all stakeholders onsite to ensure that we could get the best results possible!” said Mr Viner. “With all vendors and bars onsite implementing compostable packaging, our team on ground could guarantee that all compostable products onsite were verified and approved for disposal through our onsite organic waste streams.”

Implementing the Containers for Change recycling scheme at the festival proved to be another win.

“Just over 17,000 eligible cans and bottles were processed for the Containers for Change program on top of our 71% of recycled or repurposed material,” Mr Viner said.

Due to this year’s Blues on Broadbeach results, next year Clean Vibes will look to order a 25m skip bin for organic waste, something that has never been done at one of MEGC’s festivals before.

The waste results were equally promising from MEGC’s Cooly Rocks On festival held in Coolangatta in June. The Clean Vibes report showed over 20% more waste was diverted from landfill in 2023 compared to 2022.

“As our festivals grow in popularity, we are faced with additional waste challenges,” said Ms McCormick. “We want to make sure we continue to give our fans the best possible festival experience and that means ensuring we are continually improving our practices when it comes to sustainable waste management. We also want to make sure our festivals don’t have a negative environmental impact on the beautiful locations we deliver them in.”