Organizers want Bayou Boogaloo to be green - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Organizers want Bayou Boogaloo to be green

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

Thousands of people partied along Bayou St. John Saturday during the Bayou Boogaloo festival. With so many people, comes a lot of trash, but organizers are doing their part to keep a lot of it from going to landfills, as they try to keep the fest green.

In it's ninth year, Bayou Boogaloo continues to grow in popularity. Fest goer Kirsten Nelms notes, "It has delicious food, there's so many people, great music, I was really surprised it was free."

35,000 thousand people are expected to pass through over the course of three days but festival organizers are hoping the footprint left behind will be small. "We want to divert all of the waste from going into the landfill," said festival director Jared Zeller.

One big way that's done, utilizing composting. As director of the fest, Zeller spends time educating vendors on what composting is all about.

Gary Granata sends his left over scraps to a garden about eight blocks away. "What we don't consume will be the fertilizer for the next thing we need," Granata explained.

Saltwater Grill owner William McIntyre says he's encouraged to see so many recycling containers set up throughout this space. "People are really doing an effort to put them into those things," said McIntyre.

And something that McIntyre's been noticing more and more...there are folks showing up to collect old oil to use it for bio-diesel. "We want to do something with it, we don't want to take it back home and have to dispose of it in our containers so it's easy that way," said McIntyre.

Jared Zeller says it's also important to him to preserve the air around the bayou, so he's gotten rid of all generators, instead tying in to Entergy's grid for power. "We're not burning any fossil fuels right so we don't have to go gas up generators with diesel so it's a huge benefit because we're not creating any carbon emissions," Zeller explained.

Zeller admits the unconventional approach to keeping the fest green is difficult to upkeep at times, but attendees are taking note.

David Yates says, "I think they're doing all they can but with a huge crowd it's really hard to do that."

The hope is that these steps will help keep this festival going year after year, and keep the area around Bayou St. John beautiful for generations to come.

The final day of Bayou Boogaloo kicks off Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

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