The 30th annual Three Fires Homecoming and Traditional Pow Wow has gone green! Thanks to the New Credit Biodiversity Team – Green Team Initiative, waste diversion at the pow wow is increasing every year.

It’s the third year in a row that the pow wow has used the services of Walker Industries to help reduce waste generated at the annual event that usually draws over 2,000 guests every year.

Carla Campbell, who is a member of the New Credit Biodiversity Team, said the team is working hard to divert waste from the landfill at every pow wow. Last year, in 2015, 69 per cent of waste was diverted from the landfill, she said. In the first year of the initiative, she said, about 50 per cent of waste was diverted from the landfill.

“This (our 3rd) year’s percentage will be skewed because everything was emptied into one large garbage bin the Monday after the pow wow,” said Campbell. “We will have data for the used grease/oil that wasn’t thrown out. This was due to a lack of communication. The good thing was that we increased awareness and education of this initiative over the two-day pow wow. Also, two food vendors this year came with their own oil bins and didn’t need to use ours. Last year, this wasn’t the case. Our food vendors are being more sustainable.”

Campbell says: “We need to work on this with the craft vendors because this year they weren’t being educated on this process. They created a need for bins set by the bathrooms located behind their area.”

Separate bins for all categories of waste were created and dispersed throughout the pow wow grounds. There were bins for plastic, glass, food waste, paper, and all guests were encouraged to bring reusable plates and silverware. Grease was recycled from food vendors instead of going into the garbage and into the landfill.

The pow wow committee also set up water refill stations throughout the grounds, eliminating the use of water consumption from plastic bottles altogether.
It was an adjustment for guests, as Campbell was stationed at the front entrance of the pow wow grounds advising people which bin their waste should go in.

She also ran around the pow wow grounds working very hard to sort waste in various bins placed throughout the grounds.

Campbell says she hopes the percentage of waste diversion will go up every year.

Great job to the New Credit Biodiversity Team for all their hard work in helping to sustain Mother Earth!