Reducing Waste and Fueling Community
Every year, Maha makes moves to improve its environmental impact — here’s how you can help.
June 28, 2021
Worldwide, festivals and other large events run the risk of leaving behind a notoriously large carbon footprint. One estimate says some festivals can generate more than 100 tons of waste per day.
The good news is that it doesn’t need to be this way. Like some other festivals, Maha works with local waste management experts to help make the event as environmentally sustainable as possible.
It’s a challenge, but a worthy one — are you down to help?
In 2019, Maha Festival saved 6,597 pounds (3.25 tons) of waste from going to the landfill.
About 74% was single-stream recycling like plastic and aluminum, 12% glass, and 14% was composted from food and packaging and turned back into soil. How far can we take it this year?
How it Works
The #1 goal of a reduced-waste event like Maha is to keep trash out of landfills, instead giving the materials you use a second life cycle. It starts by choosing to use the right materials in the first place — some plastics cannot be recycled, for example. You’ll also notice that food vendors at Maha use special compostable utensils and containers.
Then, it’s important to dispose of your stuff the right way. There are numerous Zero Waste Stations throughout the festival grounds, each with a set of bins. Virtually everything you use at the festival can be recycled or composted. Ask a Green Team volunteer for help if you’re not sure.
When you’re done with your food or other clearly marked compostable materials, toss it in the compost bin. From there, it will get sorted, weighed, and sent off to the composting site, where it’s eventually transformed back into soil.
Maha’s sustainability partner, Hillside Solutions, donates some of the soil to a number of local community gardens, meaning your unwanted pizza crust from the festival may eventually become a beautiful Omaha tomato. Wild.
Wondering about what happens to all the beer cans you go through at Maha? Don’t worry. Aluminum is very good at being recycled — it can do so infinitely without compromising quality.
Just make sure your empty can makes its way to the correct bin, and it’ll continue its journey to the recycling center, and eventually back on the shelf, good as new.
What You Can Do
Use the Zero Waste Stations properly.
- Take a second to sort your trash before tossing it.
- Ask a Green Team member if you don’t know where something goes!
- Most importantly, finish your drink! Getting a bunch of liquid in the bin negatively impacts the recycling process.
Consider alternative modes of transportation to get to Maha.
Leave the car at home if you can. Take the bus, ride a bike, walk, or carpool with friends.
Volunteer with the Maha Green Team
Volunteers at Maha Festival earn a free festival ticket in exchange for just a few hours of time. Select a “Recycling Monitor” shift here. It’s easy, fun, and a great way to meet other Maha fans while supporting sustainability.
Stay tuned for more ways to help, and thanks for helping keep Maha’s carbon contribution as low as possible.
You can also learn more about Hillside Solutions, Maha’s sustainability partner. They make zero waste easy through consulting and hauling, across the Omaha area.
Extra special thanks to HDR, Maha’s sustainability sponsor, for supporting these efforts and making them possible.