Zero Waste at Waitakere Festival

By Sophie Barclay

Entertainment: This Labour weekend Corban Estates Art Centre will swell with Westie pride at the fourth annual Waitakere Festival. The Festival features a stellar line up of Kiwi musicians and, as the first official Zero Waste festival in Auckland, will attempt to fill just one bag with rubbish destined for landfill.

With 6,500 punters last year, and plenty more expected this year, the event includes a stellar line up of Kiwi musicians - among them big band kings and queens of swing, 10-piece Sal Valentine & the Babyshakes, indie rock darlings Street Chant, joined by David Saunders from The 3Ds and high-energy hip hop outfit Eddie Numbers.

The festival will also attempt to claim the title of the first official Zero Waste festival, diverting all rubbish produced at the festival into recyclables, compostables (delivered by local waste heroes 'We Compost' to industrial composting facilities at Tuakau) and just one bag of landfill waste. Punters will also be able to take home their compostable waste in a limited edition, designer, compost goodie bag to start their own compost.

Festival organiser, Chloe Waratini, says she is looking forward to accepting the challenge, tackling the Zero Waste challenge with support from the Auckland Community Zero Waste Alliance (ACZWA), and a dash of creativity.

"We're excited to be the first festival to be working with ACZWA to create an official Zero Waste event - it's something we've always wanted to do but haven't have the knowledge or resource to make it happen. As always, we're adding a bit of Westie creative flair to not just reduce our waste, but actually start to reframe organic waste as something of value that people want. The idea of giving people back their waste as 'goodie bags' is designed to get festival-goers engaged in this idea, and also appeals to our sense of humour."

The Festival evolved as a reaction against the amalgamation of the unique Westie identity into the Auckland super city and was put together over of a few weeks on a shoestring budget. The community called for the festival to return the following year, and the rest is history.

The Festival will also feature a humming market loaded with Mexican, Hungarian, Jamaican and Asian delicacies and as well as stalls boasting vintage clothing, Trash up-cycled footwear and henna tattoos. Artists in residence at the Arts Centre will also open their studios for festival-goers.

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