Canada's Largest Ribfest 100% Green Program


Since 2004, Canada’s Largest Ribfest and Rotary Burlington Lakeshore have worked toward creating an event where environmentalism is a top priority! The environment is important to all of us, and what better way to show our appreciation for beautiful Burlington than to ensure that this event produces only biodegradable waste and 100% recyclable material. 

Over the years, Canada's Largest Ribfest has composted, recycled and diverted more than 250 tonnes of materials resulting in waste diversion rates of over 80% (This also includes items that were brought on-site by visitors). To put this in perspective, the 2011 Ontario residential waste diversion rate was 46% according to Statistics Canada. As a result of this forward-thinking and proactive approach to environmental protection, Canada’s Largest Ribfest has become the model for festivals by the Recycling Council of Ontario and has been the three time consecutive winner of the Best Greening of a Festival or Event award from Festivals and Events Ontario. 

To accomplish this goal, our Ribbers, Food Vendors and Support Service Providers have to comply with our guidelines. They must all ensure that any consumables they use are biodegradable or recyclable. In addition to the consumable regulation, we also confirm that the local recycling facilities are able to process the material. 

We have ensured that the products chosen, such as containers and utensils, meet both of these criteria for recyclability and biodegradability. Here is the list of products that you’ll see at Canada’s Largest Ribfest: 

  • Fibre-based Food Containers – For those great-tasting Ribs!

  • Wooden Utensils

  • Paper Napkins

  • Plastic recyclables – For those tasty, cold beverages!

  • Fibre-based Cups – For those tasty, hot beverages!

  • Paper Bags – Ready for Take-Out!

  • Bottled water and canned pop are available in recyclable containers

For the last 7 years, our festival has received Festivals & Events Ontario's "Best Greening of a Festival or Event" Achievement Award!

Implementation During the Festival

Well, once we have controlled the input, then we can more easily control the output!

Public education is also a large part of our plan. Informing the public about what is suitable to place in the Green Bin – wooden utensils and food leftovers. As part of our public education program, we will proactively inform people about the environmental initiatives of Canada’s Largest Ribfest through the website, digital newsletters, signage at the park during the festival, and with the help of our media partners to assist in promoting this very important initiative.

And for back-up, we have our Recycling Staff on hand to help with any questions during the event and to sort through the containers after the event to make sure that everything was put in the correct container!

Recycling at Ribfest

Our Recycling/Organics Collection Program is once again in place this year. We would like to personally thank Ron and Ann Oatman who spearheaded a team of committed Rotarians and Community volunteers to enable Ribfest to continue to improve upon its commitment to producing an environmentally friendly event.

Organics includes all food, bones & paper waste, like the GreenCart program + all biodegradable food containers, beverage cups, straws & cutlery!