Zero Waste Jazzes Up the City of Albany

The City of Albany is about to hold its first ever Zero Waste Festival! Albany’s Riverfront Jazz Festival is slated to celebrate its 17th anniversary on Saturday, September 8th from 1-9 pm at Jennings Landing. For the first time this festival will bring its attendees more than great music, Hudson River views and evening fireworks – the festival will also bring new hands-on insight into waste reduction, recycling and composting.

To accomplish this, the City of Albany will be partnering with Zero Waste Capital District, a newly formed volunteer coalition that includes Save the Pine Bush, PAUSE/, the Sierra Club Hudson-Mohawk Group, the League of Women Voters, the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District and the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center.  With the combined efforts of Zero Waste Capital District and the City of Albany’s Department of General Services, the City hopes to make this the most environmentally friendly festival in the area.  Zero Waste Capital District will be training dozens of volunteers, who will be present at several Zero Waste Stations at the Festival. These friendly “Zero Waste Ambassadors” will help attendees sort their Festival waste into compost and recycling bins first, and then put what’s left into the landfill basket.  Volunteers will also provide helpful tips to festival attendees on how to compost and recycle at home.  

Food vendors are required to use plates and bowls that are compostable in a commercial (high heat) facility or recyclable, and are encouraged to set aside their compost at the festival for collection. Attendees are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles, cups and utensils from home and to bring their waste to one of the Zero Waste Stations at the Festival.  Zero To Go, will be serving as consultants, bringing their expertise in organizing zero waste events to this festival. FoodScraps360, a local business, will be collecting the compost for the event. The cost of composting at $14/bag is supported by donations.

The goals of the Zero Waste Jazz Festival are to reduce the amount of waste Albany residents add to the almost-full Rapp Road Landfill, recycle material, and put valuable nutrients back into the soil where they belong. The Albany 2030 Plan calls for a 65% diversion of solid waste from the Rapp Road Landfill. Reducing waste saves the city and residents money, improves neighborhood cleanliness and saves thousands of tons of earth-warming methane emissions from being produced by the landfill. A Zero Waste Festival is a great way to reach lots of residents with an important hands-on demonstration of what we can do to reduce waste.

To be a volunteer Zero Waste Ambassador at the September 8th Riverfront Jazz Festival or to sponsor a $14 bag of compost, please contact Tina at or Diana at Or visit the Zero Waste Capital District GoFundMe page at



Published in August-September 2018 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter