Q&A With Mia Hansen
She has been called a TMY sparkplug. Now Mia Hansen is instilling sustainability in the TMY engine.
BL: What’s up with the TMY Green Team? Who are the players behind it?
MH: Pima County has formed a Sustainability Committee which offered to support TMY’s effort to reduce waste, recycle and work towards a reduced carbon footprint. Catherine Strickland heads up the Pima County Sustainability Committee, which is made up of employees from various departments. They have given advice, reviewed our layout, offered suggestions, and are creating Green Station signs which will guide the public on how to properly dispose of 1) compostables (plant-based food waste, paper plates, cups & napkins, wooden skewers, corn cobs, etc.), 2) recyclables (plastic bottles, paper, brochures, cardboard), and 3) landfill waste (meat, bone, styrofoam, plastic utensils).
For our TMY Green Team we quickly involved the enthusiastic UA Students for Sustainability, Chester Phillips – Director, and the UA Compost Cats – a team of 12 UA Students entrepreneurs of compost. They have agreed to support TMY by picking up all our compost materials and taking them to the facility at the UA Agricultural center on Campbell/Roger. They will recruit UA students to be ‘Green Guides’ to educate people at the TMY Green Stations as to what to put — where.
City of Tucson Environmental Services is our contracted waste & recycling service. They will provide blue recycling ‘clear stream’ containers to collect recyclables during the festival as well as garbage and compost bins. They will provide the eight 40-yard dumpsters that will haul the garbage to the landfill (hopefully less of it) and the recyclables to their proper location. They are providing advice on what people actually understand about recycling and how to get the message across to a community which has a limited experience with waste reduction.
The Southern Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce, via Rick Small, Executive Director also is involved, and is providing support through an appeal to their members and the community to support our efforts with cash contributions. They are providing volunteers to support our Green Stations at the Festival where they will help educate the public on the benefits of waste reduction and sustainable practices such as composting and recycling.
The Community Food Bank is our TMY Green Team Volunteer sponsor. They are providing free Green Team T-shirts to the first 200 volunteers who sign up to help us clean up the festival. They are supporting our efforts to ’embrace more green practices’ and will be exhibiting and selling local apples at their booth.
BL: What should festival goers know about the TMY green stations?
MH: Each of the four main Festival Areas will have 6-8 Green Stations, which are clearly marked stations with three bins and options:
1) Compost (dispose of your compostable materials first):
2) Recycle (plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper programs & brochures; And
3) Garbage – everything else will go into the landfill. Attendees should read the signs that will be located above each Green Station for what goes where.
BL: How are TMY volunteers involved? What should we expect of attendees?
MH: TMY Green Guides will be stationed at Green Stations and guide the public to dispose properly. The TMY Green Team will take the Compost, Recyclable and Waste to the Curbside dumpsters and will help keep the grounds clean. And the TMY Audience will join the Green Team and “Leave No Trace,” reducing waste as well as reducing clean-up costs (and reduced costs help keep the festival free for everyone.)
Pima County, City of Tucson, SAGCC & UA Compost Cats are providing advice, staff, signs, support and ideas, and will monitor the success of our pilot program for use with other festivals & events through FEATSAZ – Festivals & Events Association of Tucson & Southern Arizona.
BL: Closing thoughts about staying green and sustainable next weekend?
MH: We’re really focused on recycling and composting. We have recycled before, but with limited success. The audience education program is KEY to the success of this effort. We must try not to contaminate the compost bins or the recycling bins. So I’ll leave with a few green slogans for everyone to remember when attending next week:
Tucson EAT Yourself — clean your plate, compost what you can’t.
Tucson REUSE Yourself — recycle everything you can!
Tucson REDUCE Your Waste — let’s leave the Festival grounds neat, clean and beautiful.