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Blue Ridge BBQ Festival is Going Green June 9 –10

There is always something new at the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival, and this year’s event, set for June 9 and 10 at Harmon Field in Tryon, is no different - organizers have announced that the Festival is "Going Green."

Festival Chairman Eric McIntyre said, "We owe it to the community to be good stewards of the environment in which we live, and there are steps we can take to really make a positive difference—in reducing waste and in raising awareness of environmental issues that may extend far beyond our June event. And we’re going to have fun doing it, too."

"We’re taking baby steps," said Betsy Burdett, who chairs the newly established Going Green committee for the BBQ Festival. "Last year we recycled aluminum cans; this year we’re going farther and hope to make a serious dent in the enormous amount of general waste produced at the event."

She explained that the 2005 Festival generated more than 24 tons (48,000 pounds) of non-recyclable garbage which was simply taken to the landfill. The Town of Tryon had 11 men working 245 man-hours to attend to the approximately 300 waste and refuse sites stationed on the Harmon Field site.

What the Going Green committee has proposed for the 2006 Festival is to establish recycling centers conveniently located throughout grounds. These will be canopied spaces with separate bins for aluminum cans, plastic drink bottles, compostable material, and landfill trash. Environmentally knowledgeable volunteers are being recruited to man these stations in order to educate guests in a friendly and competent manner about how to properly sort their trash.

"I think we’ll have wonderful cooperation from our festival guests," said Burdett. "There’s a great deal of good feeling and personal pride associated with doing the right thing; and reducing waste—enhancing our environment—is certainly a noble goal."

The plan includes working with composting experts to establish a composting area. Materials suitable for composting include paper products and food waste, which will lend nutrient-rich organic matter to the soil.

Groups or individuals who wish to volunteer in the Going Green effort are encouraged to call Betsy Burdett at 828-749-2161 The Blue Ridge BBQ Festival is presented each year by the Polk County Chamber of Commerce, and its proceeds help fund the Chamber budget and to benefit many other local civic groups.

For more information on the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival, please visit their website at or call 828-859-RIBS.

(Images provided by Blue Ridge BBQ Festival.)

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