The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market generates community, delicious food, and an enormous amount of waste. On a typical summer Saturday in 2007, more than one hundred 45-gallon garbage bags destined for the landfill were loaded with food scraps, plastic water bottles, to-go coffee cups, paper plates, soda cans, packaging and other discarded items.
Starting on Earth Day, 2008, more than 90% of this rubbish changed course through the addition of composting and recycling collection at the market. Our Waste Wise initiative is a comprehensive waste reduction program and education campaign, featuring custom-made Waste Wise stations, and informational displays. In 2009, as phase 2 of the initiative, the market phased out plastic bags and the next step, will be to reduce packaging.
Funding for the coordination, infrastructure and launch of our Waste Wise initiative was provided by the Richard and Rhoda Goldman fund. Special thanks to Janice Sitton of Good Green Graces for her assistance in helping us create a less wasteful and more resourceful farmers market.
Do you want to replicate this program at your farmers market? Download our Waste Wise Farmers Market Handbook »
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »