Zero waste by 2020 – Can we do it ? !

Waste Free by 2020  – we will need your help .  We look forward to working with everyone who comes to our festival to achieve this important goal – working towards a better outcome for our world.

Ever conscious of the environmental impact of our festival, The Wingham Akoostik Music Festival committee have set a target of being Waste Free by 2020, which means not having any waste going to landfill. Many music festivals leave their festival sites littered with rubbish, and then for efficiency push all waste straight to landfill. We are committed to reducing the overall amount of waste we generate and minimising the waste we send to landfill through recycling, reusing and composting.

The committee is collaborating with local service providers; Midcoast Waste Services, JR Richards, and Islands in the Stream Vermiculture, in providing practical solutions for diverting and collecting waste. In the base year of 2016 all waste went to landfill, in 2017 49% of waste was diverted to recycling and composting. In 2018 with improved processes and communication strategies an even better diversion result was delivered, In 2019 our results highlighted we need further improvement strategies to deliver our goal of 2020 waste free.

In 2016 in excess of 30 cubic meters of waste went straight to landfill. In 2017, despite a 10% increase in festival attendance overall waste was reduced by more than 20%, to 24.5 cubic meters. Of this 49% ( 11.9 cubic meters) was diverted to recycling, with approximately 2 cubic meters from the event composted for soil for the Wingham Community Garden.


Aiming for 100% of waste diverted from landfill with all compostible waste now at the vermiculture site being converted to soil for the Manning Valley Community Garden!

zero waste 2020 Wingham Akoostik Festival


Since inception of The Wingham Akoostik Music Festival in 2006 MidCoast Council has been a key sponsor and partner. They aim to provide community event organisers with detailed waste management information to assist in developing a tailored waste strategy for their event. In the past, events have generated large amounts of landfilled waste due to one bin stream systems, recycling contamination and products such as polystyrene used. The council is committed to improving waste management at events through increased planning and involvement with local event organisations.

This approach aligns with the Wingham Akoostik Music Festival in its aim for sustainable development, and a collaborative approach on waste management was initiated. This year the Akoostik team chose to include Midcoast Waste Services Education Officer (MWS EO) in the planning of their event. Prior to the event the Akoostik team met with MWS EO twice and engaged in several email and phone conversations.

The initial meeting held six months prior to event discussed the application of the Event Management Plan provided by MWS. The Akoostik team embraced the idea of being an environmentally friendly event and set a target of being Waste Free by 2020 essentially all waste will be diverted from landfill. To do this they invited Lee Fieldhouse at Islands in the Stream to compost the collected food organics and acceptable waste containers. Lee suggested that the compost be donated back to Wingham Community Garden to engage and motivate event goers to act.

One main outcome from this initial meeting was to ensure that stallholders (those creating the majority of the waste) could be encouraged to provide alternative packaging that could be either composted or recycled. Information was relayed to stallholders early, during their application process. The follow up meeting held two months prior to event confirmed the number and location of bins, required signage, and agreed items to be included in recycling and organic bins. It was confirmed that MWS would supply a water refill station for the event to reduce the identified waste generated from plastic water bottles. In summary the WAMF committee collaborated with local service providers; MidCoast Council, MidCoast

Waste Services, JR Richards, Islands in the Stream Vermiculture, and the Community Garden committee of Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services. All are focused in providing practical solutions for diverting and collecting waste to meet the ‘Waste Free by 2020’ event aim.