By Nina Wu
Where there are major events and a gathering of crowds, there is waste.
For the third year in a row, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is playing a major role in reducing the impacts of waste on the land and ocean from Vans Triple Crown of Surfing events, which run from Nov. 12 to Dec. 8.
"We work together to minimize the effects that the competition has on our waste infrastructure by diverting as many resources as possible away from the landfill and encouraging composting and recycling," said Kahi Pacarro, executive director of Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. "This past year, we were able to divert 60 percent of all debris that would have otherwise ended up getting wasted."
What that means is that staff and volunteers from Sustainable Coastlines will divert waste from the events with the following comprehensive waste diversion strategies:
>> Recycle and compost. Pop-up tents that separate recyclables and compostables from trash. The compostable items (food waste) will be processed at Waiehuna Farm, where it will undergo a bokashi fermenting process using effective microorganisms and then be transferred to the soil. Recyclables will be donated to local families. Trash will be sent to H-Power.
>> Reuse. Contestants and staff members will all be given a reusable water bottle that can be refilled at water stations instead of plastic water bottles.
>> Educate. This year, Sustainable Coastlines is launching an Education Station, a mobile classroom in a 20-foot container just in time for the Pipeline event. The station is a fun way to educate the public, including keiki, about marine debris and waste.
During the competition last year, Sustainable Coastline's efforts collected a total of 1,402 pounds of recyclables, compostables and trash.
It's possible to hold a large event while minimizing waste if the promoter or event producer is on board according to Pacarro.
Vans Triple Crown 2015 is very much on board. It's designated as a Deep Blue Surfing Event, which means it is required to divert waste from the landfill, utilize renewable energy to power the contest and webcast and support local community groups and charities. An HIC Pro Beach Cleanup was held Nov. 7 at Mokuleia's Army Beach.
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing kicked off its 33rd year Nov. 12 with the Reef Hawaiian Pro, followed by the Vans World Cup of Surfing Nov. 24, and the Billabong Pipe Masters on Dec. 8, where the Vans Triple Crown and World Surfing League World Champion will be crowned.