For the 10th consecutive year, the Marquette Food Co-op is working with the Michigan Brewers Guild and various community partners to ensure Mattson Lower Harbor Park is clean and cared for during and after the U.P. Fall Beer Festival.
The Co-op’s General Manager and internal Sustainability Team, 502 EcoTribe, are organizing a group of volunteers, comprised mostly of staff members, to provide trash, recycling, and compostables monitoring, sorting and pick-up services for the festival.
“It was sort of a fluke that the we, as the Co-op, became involved as volunteers for the U.P. Fall Beer Festival. Now suddenly its ten years later. The Guild was looking for help with their desire to keep the festival ‘green’ and that aligned with our values and sense of service to the community,” said MFC General Manager Matt Gougeon. “I’m so proud of our Co-op volunteers. It’s one thing to promote and espouse the virtues of sustainability. But it’s another thing entirely to follow five thousand happy revelers and bend at the waist, pick up trash, and sort it into recycling and composting containers. Talk is talk but doing the work is where the rubber always meets the road.”
The Co-op works alongside The Sweaty Mouse, a downstate company hired by the Guild that focuses on event greening, recycling and waste diversion. Together, they aim for zero waste at the festival, which attracts more than 100 breweries and about 5,000 craft beer lovers to Lower Harbor. North Country disposal will be hauling sorted waste and providing composting services.
“One of the great things about the U.P. Fall Beer Festival has been the support of community members like the Marquette Food Co-op since year one,” said Scott Graham, Executive Director of the Guild. “The Michigan Brewers Guild manages our festivals with a zero waste to landfill mentality and the Co-op’s hard work and commitment has been essential in achieving diversion rates of more than ninety percent. We can all be proud that very little of our waste ends up in the local landfill.”