theresa tayler/metro calgary
The midway lights were turned off weeks ago and the barns have been emptied for another year.
But while the Stampede is already a distant memory for Calgarians who flocked to it just two weeks ago, cleanup crews are just now finishing up the job of hauling away waste, and returning the park to its normal shiny state.
“It’s a small city here at Stampede and the thousands of people that come in leave stuff behind,” said Gerry McHugh, Stampede Parks manager. “People do live here during those 10 days, we get all sorts of things left behind — TVs, washing machines …”
McHugh says virtually everything that can be recycled will be.
The Stampede is one of the most environmentally forward-thinking exhibitions in North America. Organizers have even appointed a RRRanger (Reuse, Recycle, Reduce) to monitor park activity to make sure vendors are recycling as much waste as possible.
This year, the midway had six recycling centres on site for midway vendors to bring their garbage to be composted and recycled. There were 170 beverage container bins for Stampede goers to drop their bottles and cans in for recycling, and 900 garbage bins.
McHugh says all the cardboard used on site this year will be recycled as well — that’s about 90 tons. About 100,000 beverage containers were also to be recycled.
“We’re trying to create a culture here. Being environmentally friendly is part of this culture to begin with and it’s easier to get people on board that way,” McHugh says.
McHugh added that one of the park’s main goals is to be on top of the three RRR’s all year round.
Environmental stop points