Until recently, CUESA knew it was sending its waste to our local landfill, we just didn’t know how much. We had two audits done in late 2007 and early 2008 and discovered that our markets were generating over 35 tons of waste every year. In 2008 we launched our Waste Wise Farmers Market program and added new Waste Wise Stations throughout our Saturday and Tuesday markets. These stations help market customers sort materials into compost, recycling and waste bins, allowing us to successfully divert 90% of those materials away from the landfill.
Almost immediately after unveiling our Waste Wise Stations, we began receiving requests for information about the process behind this effort. We decided to create a detailed handbook, so that other markets and venues could learn from our successes and mistakes. Below you’ll find a PDF version of the Waste Wise Farmers Market Handbook, which includes a summary of our efforts, as well as tips, resource lists and examples of our signs and educational materials.
We encourage others to adopt, adapt and refine this program, and share their results so that we all may continue to improve. Please feel free to reproduce our materials; if you do, please credit CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) and include a link to our website (www.cuesa.org). Please also notify us so that we may track the use of our materials by others.
Download the full Waste Wise Farmers Market Handbook (PDF) »
This is a large file. For faster download, see the sections below:
Waste Wise Farmers Market Handbook: The Chapters (PDF) »
This is the main body of the handbook; it includes details about designing and staffing the Waste Wise stations, as well as a discussion of several of CUESA’s new and upcoming Waste Wise policies.
Appendix 1: Waste Wise Stations (PDF) »
Examples of the banners, signage, and cart system developed for the Waste Wise Stations, including budget and sources, plus instructions for using or adapting our signs
Appendices 2-6: Staffing and Training (PDF) »
Examples of market seller and volunteer monitor training materials, plus Waste Wise Coordinator job description
Appendix 7: Educational Materials (PDF) »
Educational signs, exhibits, articles, activities, and other items used to support the Waste Wise Farmers Market program
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 »