Sustain Charlotte and Mecklenburg SW Announce Winners of Recycling Excellence Awards

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Live Nation’s PNC Music Pavilion of Charlotte and Nourish Charlotte earned 2020 Recycling Excellence awards for their innovative and inspiring waste reduction projects. 

Each year, Sustain Charlotte hosts an awards ceremony to celebrate the work that is being done in the community to advance smart growth and sustainability. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Sustain Charlotte to cancel the 2020 event. 

The organization’s partner, Mecklenburg County Solid Waste, co-sponsored a new award category this year, Recycling Excellence. This award aims to encourage organizations of all types and sizes to implement creative waste reduction projects that inspire the community, can be scaled up and strengthen the local economy. The judges received five impressive nominee projects and could not wait an entire year to publicly recognize who won the competition. 

There was a broad spectrum of nominees for this award that included individuals, non-profits, small businesses and large corporations. The submitted projects had vastly differing levels of resources and thus the outcome impacts differed greatly in scale. The judges had a very difficult time with the award scoring and final verdict. Ultimately, it was clear two projects stood out above the rest, and they both needed to receive acknowledgement. 

The decision was made to award both a large business, PNC Music Pavilion of Charlotte and small business, Nourish Charlotte 2020 Recycling Excellence Awards

Nourish Charlotte is Charlotte’s first plant-based, locally sourced, almost 100% organic, whole-foods based, healthy prepared-food delivery service. They deliver food 

weekly to hundreds of customers from Mooresville, North Carolina, to northern South Carolina. 

The small business uses a lot of packaged materials weekly! Over the past eight years, they have made huge strides to reduce waste, while also working to educate their customers to do the same. 

Through composting, reusing containers and recycling combined, they produce less refuse than 90% of kitchens nationwide (scaled to volume). Their events are also low or no waste. 

Nourish educates their customers and the larger community in several ways by: 

  • Including sustainability information in every order. 
  • Creating blog articles, social media posts and other content to educate the public on waste reduction, recycling and sustainability. 
  • Hosting in-person educational events for food vendors. 

The PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte became the first Live Nation venue to hit zero waste by diverting over 90% of their concert generated waste from the landfill and have maintained their title as the Live Nation venue with the highest diversion rate nationally. 

Zero waste stations are installed around the venue offering fans as well as food vendors an easy way to separate recycling, compost, and landfill trash. Water refill stations are located around the venue to encourage refilling water bottles, reducing the amount of plastic water bottles used. 

In 2018, the venue eliminated plastic straws, and serves food and beverages in recyclable or compostable containers. Through a partnership with Earth Farms, the venue composted nearly 97,000 lbs. of food scraps and organic material in 2019. Additionally, they recycled nearly 150,000 lbs., and donated nearly 2,400 lbs. of clothing through fan-supported on-site clothing drives. 

100% post-consumer recycled glass awards 

PNC Music Pavilion Zero Waste Station 

Sustain Charlotte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization helping to advance a region-wide sustainability movement by serving as a catalyst for change. Our mission is to inspire choices that lead to healthy, equitable and vibrant communities across the Charlotte metro region for generations to come. sustaincharlotte.org 

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