SLU's Center for Sustainability put its mission to work Thursday, March 17, at the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Louis' Dogtown neighborhood, partnering with parade sponsor the Ancient Order of Hibernians to design and implement a recycling plan for one of the country's largest St. Patrick's Day parades.
The Center was responsible for the design of the plan and the management of the collection process for the parade.
The efforts not only benefitted the environment, but also the local and city economies.
Businesses in the Dogtown area have come to rely on the surge in revenues generated during and after the parade.
In years past, the event relied on St. Louis City services to clean the significant additional waste left behind after the revelers had gone home.
That typically meant the City's contract haulers would spend extra time picking up the cans, cups and bottles that littered the streets of Dogtown.
Besides the additional costs to the City, recyclable containers and trash from the event ended up in the waste stream, exacerbating the environmental challenges that some of the younger parade-goers will face for years to come.
This year, recyclable material was collected from nearly 50 receptacles along the parade route. The effort also raised awareness of the need to recycle.
Parade goers and venders were happy to have the new addition and happily directed onlookers to recycle bins throughout the day.
The event is supported by a host of volunteers-master of sustainability students, faculty, staff and friends of the Center for Sustainability.
Waste Management generously donated the recyclable receptacles and roll-off container used during the parade.