Cleveland Home & Garden Show Hits the ‘Junkpot;’ Recycles 90% of Waste

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Cleveland, OH – Expositions, Inc. took a major step toward having its annual home and garden show in Cleveland receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by recycling more than 90% of the waste generated by the event.

The yeoman effort at conclusion of the 65th Annual National City Home & Garden Show was made as part of the long process of gaining a coveted  LEED certification for the show.

Expositions, Inc. said 22 loads of construction debris totaling 496 cubic yards of wood, concrete, plastic, cardboard and drywall were hauled out of the International Exposition Center (I-X Center) and taken to a recycling center. That equals 90.2% of all of the waste generated during the show’s February 2-10 run. “This year’s goal was to recycle 90% of the debris from the Home & Garden Show,” said Chris Fassnacht, president of Expositions, Inc. “The fact that we exceeded our lofty and ambitious target is beyond gratifying.”

Fassnacht said the next major step will be I-X Center converting its food service items to recyclable materials. “Then we will have a total compliance – wall to wall,” he said.

Soil and plants from the 125,000 square foot blooming garden displays made up a sizable portion of the show’s total waste. Fassnacht told Trade Show Executive that more than 5 million pounds of sand from the gardens was recycled. But there were also more formidable leftovers, including three full-sized home mockups and trash generated by 205,000 attendees.

Rosby Resource Recycling, a Cleveland-area company that specializes in mulching agricultural waste and other organic debris, was brought in before the event to assist with the development of a recycling plan. Rosby also documented the materials removed and compiled the data in a report that met LEED requirements. “When we evaluated the Home & Garden Show waste stream, it was obvious that post-show debris would contain organic home and garden materials,” said Rosby’s Joe Rettmann, who supervised the project. “So, we expected a high recovery rate, but no one expected these exorbitant results. It just further proves that almost everything can be reused or recycled.”

Reach Chris Fassnacht at (216) 529-1300 or chrisfassnacht@expoinc.com; Joe Rettmann at (216) 661-6102, ext 3, or jrettmann@rosbys.com