Zero Waste Initiative

A lot of Food means a lot of Trash

Thousands of visitors come to Rockport for Harvestfest to enjoy the best of the season’s bounty provided by local food producers and growers. We all have a great time, but we all also generate a lot of trash.

A huge thanks goes to the Rockport DPW (shout out to Chuck Osmond!) and to Sharon Kishida, MassDEP Municipal Assistance Coordinator for the town of Rockport and 38 other communities. Sharon uses her technical and logistical skill to spearhead a comprehensive effort to turn Harvestfest into a zero waste event. This is a not inconsiderable challenge when the crowds of people and the differing materials used in food service are factored in. Yet Sharon, along with her team of volunteers, pull it off with good grace. Each year the team learns how to refine the process of efficiently reducing the byproduct of having such a good time at Harvestfest.

The students from the Rockport Public Schools Green Team are also a huge part of making the Zero Waste Initiative happen at Harvestfest. And so are you! Thank you for joining us in this effort.

To join the efforts of Sharon and the RPS Green Team and volunteer for the Harvestfest Zero Waste Initiative, contact us at rockportexchange01966@gmail.com. We’d love to have you on board as part of the Zero Waste Initiative!


Below, please find a summary of a ZWI effort from a previous Harvestfest.

Harvest Festival 2019 – Waste Reduction Initiative Results

  • 6 bags of trash (down from previous years, in spite of increased attendance).  
  • 10 bags of organic waste for composting
  • 6 recycling bins
  • Hamper full of flattened cardboard

There were 5 sorting stations (one in Harvey Park and three on T-Wharf) for

  • Liquid pour off
  • Composting
  • Recycling
  • Trash

The DPW delivered eight 55-gallon barrels for trash and recycling.  Black Earth Compost delivered 10 64-gallon wheeled carts with liners for compostables. 

10 volunteers helped the public sort their discards.