In addition to food, entertainment and fireworks, this year’s Davis Fourth of July celebration will have something else — composting.
In an effort to reduce waste, the city will have bins in Community Park to collect trash, recyclables and compostable items such as paper cups, napkins and plates; food waste, corn dog sticks; and other paper and organic-based material.
“If it used to be a plant or originally was made from a plant, then it is compostable,” said Jennifer Gilbert, the city’s conservation coordinator.
Trash, recycling and compost bins will be labeled with signs and pictures of the items that can go into each bin. Last year, the bins helped reduce the amount of trash produced at the annual celebration by about 50 percent, Gilbert said.
Food vendors have been encouraged to use recyclable or compostable cups, plates and utensils, she said. As usual, the Davis Food Co-op will have a water truck on site so people can bring their water bottles from home and refill as needed.
“Since so many people bring their own food to the event, individuals have a huge role in how much waste we can reduce and how much we can recycle and compost,” she said.
Picnickers are asked to follow a few simple guidelines to help produce less trash:
* Bring finger food that requires no plates or utensils;
* If finger food is not possible, use washable water bottles, plates, cups, bowls and utensils and take them home for reuse;
* If reusable items are not feasible, use recyclable or compostable cups, bowls and utensils;
* Plastic utensils, cups, plates, bowls and straws are recyclable;
* Paper cups, plates, bowls and napkins are compostable; see DavisRecycling.org for details on what is/is not recyclable or compostable;
* Do not bring or use expanded polystyrene (aka “Styrofoam”) cups, plates or bowls. These are not recyclable; and
* Before you dump your waste, take a moment to read the signs on the waste bins and sort your recycling and compostable items.
One of the biggest ways people can help reduce waste in the park is by cleaning up after themselves. City staff estimates that half of the waste generated on the Fourth of July is litter left on the ground.