Visitors to the United States Sailboat and Powerboat Shows in October will be able to recycle their trash for the first time this year.
“We are delighted to offer our attendees and vendors this opportunity," said United States Yacht Shows President Ed Hartman in a press release. "Our business depends on the health of the Chesapeake, and we are happy to do our share.”
Twenty-five pairs of trash and recycling bins known as “eco-stations” will be placed around both shows, allowing attendees and vendors to recycle paper, glass, metal, and plastic.
A local environmental group called Annapolis Green has partnered with Waste Strategies, an Annapolis-based environmental management firm, to create the bins and promote their use during the shows.
"We saw it was a good project that we could take on," said Elvia Thompson, co-founder of Annapolis Green. "One thing we are focused on is festival greening. We would like to see all outdoor events in the area have a recycling component."
The group lobbied the boat show and city officials for years to develop a recycling plan. Waste Strategies even conducted a study of the 2011 boat show, which showed that more than 55 percent of the trash thrown out by visitors to the two events could be recycled.
This year the city listened, and it added a requirement to its permitting process that festivals in Annapolis provide a recycling plan.
"We would very much like to take credit for that," Thompson said. "We have been saying that to the city for years."
What she hopes Annapolis Green adds to the new recycling requirement is visibility. The bins at the boat show will be brightly colored, and her organization will pass out fliers for discount meals at area restaurants that also highlight the new recycling initiative.
"As the biggest outdoor events in Annapolis, the provision of recycling at the boat shows sends a powerful message to the thousands of visitors who will attend," Thompson said. "It demonstrates to them that locals care about the Bay, and that they should too."
The 43rd annual Sailboat Show at City Dock in Annapolis runs from Thursday to Monday, and the Powerboat Show is from Oct. 11 to 14. For tickets and more information, click here.