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Case studies

Review real world issues and how we've helped implement the most efficient solutions.

Big Fam Music and Arts Festival.

Goal: Leave no trace of trash on the festival grounds and provide adequate receptacles for both festival attendees and staff to properly discard of trash and recycling.

"I didn't see one piece of trash on the ground in the main stage or vendor areas"
- Will Kris, WIDR 89.1 FM

Pre-Festival Work.

The summer before the festival, we met with Big Fam organizers on the festival grounds for an in-depth tour of the grounds and how the stages, camping, and high foot traffic areas would be laid out. From here, we estimated the amount of roll-off dumpsters that would be needed to accommodate the amount of attendees, as well as the amount of trash and recycling containers that would be needed to be placed across the grounds. 

We also determined the amount of waste in pounds that would be created, and used that to determine how many trash bags would be needed. Using all of this information, we worked with the local GFL Inc. (trash and recycling company) on logistics of getting the containers on the grounds for the allotted time.

Go Time.

For this festival of an estimated 2,000+ attendees, the below are the items needed to keep the grounds clean for a 3-day music festival:

(1x) 20 Yard Roll-Off Container

(1x) 15 Yard Roll-Off Container

(1x) 10 Yard Roll-Off Container

(15x) 96 Gallon Rolling Waste Bins

(15x) 96 Gallon Rolling Recycling Bins

(250+) 96 Gallon Trash Bags

During the festival, we worked with Manifest Green; a group of volunteers that clean music festivals across the country. While we facilitated the logistics of waste containers and clean-up materials, Manifest Green provided the man - and woman - power. We had all dumpsters and trash/recycling containers dropped off days before the festival, which allowed us to discard of any waste accumulated by staff prior to the fest. This also gave us ample time to setup bins across the grounds and reprioritize locations due to where we saw the heaviest foot traffic. Utilizing a golf cart with a storage bed, and a mid-sized pickup truck, we were able to transport bags of waste and recycling from the grounds to the roll-off dumpsters (which were placed out of sight of attendees). Utilizing these vehicles allowed both teams to remain visible, prevent strain on the arms and back, as well as being easily accessible to attendees in need of any assistance. 


Future Improvements.

One area in need of improvement is container and bag size. As it was determined using 96-gallon containers and waste bags was efficient, it meant they became very heavy very quickly. To prevent even more strain, it was determined to replace bags once they were two-thirds full. This meant, more bags were needed than estimated.

The bins themselves created some confusion, as the color of the bins that arrived were slightly different than quoted via GFL. We were expecting green recycling bins, and red waste bins. What was delivered were green bins with black tops (waste) and black bins with green tops (recycling). While the lids were labeled correctly, the colors created confusion amongst festival goers.

Large scale items such as broken canopy's or tents from a storm the first night, created a mess in the morning due to many tent skeletons being placed near trash bins. These quickly filled up one of the roll-off containers.


To read the entire article written by Will Kris regarding Big Fam Music and Arts Festival, or to find out more information about the festival itself, please find more information on their websites.