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Waste not, want not

When 25,000 people converge on your venue to party, you need a good plan for their rubbish.

Hamilton’s Claudelands Oval was the venue for one of the SIX60 Saturdays concert this summer, and through a combination of advanced planning, on-site event management delivered with military precision and a commitment to environmental sustainability, the H3 team diverted tonnes of waste from landfill and kept neighbouring residents happy.

The SIX60 concert one of the most robust tests of systems and processes designed to limit the operation’s impact on the environment.

Rebecca Aston, H3’s sustainability lead, says SIX60’s concert was H3’s first major event since putting a heavy focus on waste and recycling at our venues in 2020, so the event team wanted to ensure as much waste as possible was recycled.

“We allocated one project manager to the role of waste and recycling for this event as their sole focus,” she says. “We worked closely with cleaning company Spotless to determine how many cleaning staff were required, timings and locations. They were great.

“Spotless engaged a community group to help with post event clean of the Oval. We knew if the rubbish was not cleaned up immediately post event it could became squashed into the ground under forklifts and trucks for the pack out, making it difficult to clean up and sort.

“The crowd were fantastic inside the venue,” she says “They used the bins mostly and we ensured the cleaners continuously emptied them once they got three quarters full so they never appeared overflowing and unusable.”

The result was significant – 2245kgs of mixed recycling and 1650kgs of cardboard was sent to be recycled1745kgs of rubbish was sent to landfill and although the H3 team is this was less than what was recycled, they are looking at ways to reduce this next time, such as composting food scraps and packaging. The biggest win was receiving no complaints from neighbouring residents about trash left in neighbouring streets.

Sustainability is not just a ‘nice to have’ at event venues anymore, it’s a ‘must-have’, Rebecca says: “More and more of our clients are asking us about the sustainable initiatives at our venues and how we can help their event be more sustainable.”

“We recognise the impact the events industry can have on the environment and want to endeavour to minimise the environmental impacts of all events and functions held at our venues.”

Clients receive information sheets to get them thinking about how their event can be more sustainable, and what sustainability initiatives H3 venues are implementing. There’s also additional digital messaging around venues emphasising these initiatives and encouraging patrons to reduce their waste.

And H3 has taken its environmental sustainability kaupapa into food production, with eight beehives set up around Claudelands.

“We are working with Sweetree Honey who own and maintain the beehives and a percentage of the honey produced each year will be used as sustainable gifts for H3 clients,” she says.