Aug 1-4

Sustainability Lineup: Your Guide to Waste Avoidance at Pickathon 2024
Tuesday July 2, 2024
Sustainability Lineup

Sustainability Lineup: Your Guide to Waste Avoidance, Recycling & More at Pickathon 2024

Organizing a festival isn’t just about the music and fun—it’s also about responsible stewardship, including waste and sustainability. For more than a decade, Pickathon has led the way in event sustainability, and in 2024, we’re raising the bar even higher!

Why Sustainability Matters

Pickathon’s commitment to sustainability isn’t just a trend; it’s a responsibility. By implementing groundbreaking measures, we significantly reduce our environmental footprint, making the festival a better experience for everyone involved.

“Pickathon’s commitment to recycling and composting transforms thousands of pounds of waste into useful resources every year.” – Dave Muller, Pickathon Sustainability Director

Waste Avoidance & Recycling

Reusable Cup and Dish Program

Pickathon’s reusable cup and dish program eliminates single-use food serviceware, preventing thousands of pounds of garbage from entering landfills. Attendees can bring their own dishes or use Pickathon’s for a small, refundable deposit.

Composting and Recycling

We compost all food prep waste and leftover food, diverting it from landfills, reducing methane emissions, and creating nutrient-rich soil. Additionally, we recycle aluminum, cardboard, plastics, glass, and wood. These efforts collectively promote a more sustainable festival, setting an example for other events and contributing to a healthier planet.

We take the time to sort out all recyclable cardboard/paper, plastic, glass, and wood for recycling, rather than trashing it! In case you need some extra motivation, we donate all collected redeemable beverage containers to Ant Farm Youth Services.

Pack It In, Pack It Out

Pickathon encourages the “Pack It In, Pack It Out” approach to promote environmental responsibility among campers and festival-goers. By taking home all belongings and trash, attendees help keep Pendarvis Farm clean and reduce the festival’s environmental impact. This practice prevents bulky waste accumulation, minimizes landfill use, and supports our sustainability goals. Embracing this ethos ensures that future generations can continue to enjoy Pickathon’s natural beauty while fostering community and shared responsibility.

Our Recycling crew deals with bulky waste like broken tents and chairs every year. We urge attendees to bring home broken equipment instead of leaving it onsite. Properly sorting campsite waste into landfill, recycling, and compost bins helps our volunteers and ensures minimal contamination. Bringing waste to the centrally located Recycling HQ will also greatly help the crew.

PLEASE do not dump bulky camping gear on site (e.g., broken chairs, tents, canopies), as our dumpster capacity is very limited. Please take those items back with you for disposal.

Sustainable Stage Design and Transportation

Eco-Friendly Stage Design

Our stages blend with the natural environment, maximizing natural shading and daylight while eliminating substantial energy requirements.

Solar Power

Pendarvis Farm hosts a permanent solar array on the Galaxy Barn’s roof. The energy generated throughout the year offsets 100% of the energy used during the festival in the Galaxy Barn and a portion of the electricity used by food and craft vendors.

Green Transportation

Pickathon provides secure, free bicycle parking and offers a low-cost shuttle service from the nearest Max (light rail) station. This enables festival-goers to attend without driving personal vehicles, reducing the event’s carbon footprint.


Eliminating single-use dishware reduced our waste by an additional 30%. During the Covid hiatus, we dreamed of minimizing our carbon footprint using time and natural terrain.

In 2022, Pickathon redesigned the festival to fit within Pendarvis Farm’s environmental footprint. Daytime performances occur in thickly wooded locations for cool, shaded experiences. As the sun sets, we move to open meadows to finish the day under the stars. This redesign improved the festival experience and enshrined our core design principle—Nature is the Best Vibe.

Eliminating plastic reduced our waste volume by over 40%. Realizing that compostable dishware at most festivals ends up in landfills inspired a new dream. In 2011, Pickathon became the first major American music festival to eliminate all single-use food dishes and utensils, replacing them with reusable bamboo-based alternatives that we wash on-site.

Pickathon is renowned as a leader in festival sustainability. To get there, we started with a dream: What if Pickathon eliminated all plastic? In 2010, we became the first major American music festival to make it happen.

  1. Plastic beer cups were replaced with stainless steel cups reused all weekend and taken home as collectibles.
  2. Plastic water bottles were replaced with reusable water bottles.
  3. Water was made free and abundant.

Since 2010, Pickathon has aimed for a Zero Waste, Zero Emissions ethos. We’ve eliminated single-use dishware, incentivized eco-friendly transportation, and used solar power. This year, our efforts continue with even more sustainable practices.

“Zero Waste and Zero Emissions have been our goals for years. In 2023, Pickathon was hand-selected by TRD USA as the first music festival to premiere the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator because of our reputation for developing internationally adopted green festival practices.”

Join Us at Pickathon 2024

Be part of our sustainability journey from August 1-4, 2024, at Pendarvis Farm. Together, we can create a festival that’s both enjoyable and environmentally responsible.

We look forward to seeing you at Pickathon 2024 and continuing our journey towards a sustainable future!

For more information, email press@pickathon.com Follow us on Instagram @pickathon for real-time updates!

Want to Know More About Wellness at Pickathon 2024?

Sustainability starts within. Check out our comprehensive guide to wellness at Pickathon 2024 to learn about cedar showers, cold plunges, massages, and more. Our wellness programs offer mental, physical, and spiritual support, enhancing sustainability beyond the festival grounds.

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