The Recycling Exchange

We’d rather spend your money on music and art than waste and landfill tax!

The Recycling Exchanges have been incredibly successful over the past three years – thanks to your support and participation, they receive over 5 tonnes of recyclable waste per year and achieve double the rate of recycling compared to the campsites! If you’re one of the 3,000+ of Shambalans who use the recycling exchange, give yourself a massive pat on the back and bask in the knowledge that we think you’re totally brilliant.

We’re delighted to announce that in 2017, we achieved an epic 25% increase on recycling rates compared to 2016 – rocketing to a total of 91% of materials either recycled, composted or used for waste to energy. Only 9% of waste ended up in landfill and we aim to make this a big, fat zero. 

Importantly. we also reduced the total waste onsite by 15% overall in 2017 and, in partnership with local organisations,  sent half a tonne of edible left-over food to people who need it.

How does it work?
  • When you buy your tickets you will be charged a one off £10 “Recycling Deposit”. You will only be charged this once regardless of how many tickets, or ticket types, you add to your booking – providing you use the same email address and Ticket Sellers account. This means you can add extra tickets to your booking at a later date without incurring additional “Recycling Deposit” charges.
  • On arrival at the festival you will be handed two bags – a green bag for mixed dry recyclables – its says on the bag what to put in – and a grey bag for ‘other waste’.
  • Put your waste in these bags before leaving the festival, and take them down to one of our two  Recycling Exchanges (during their open hours only – which are 12 – 6pm on Sunday and 8am – Midday on Monday) 
  • Sort your recycling into the correct bins at the Recycling Exchange
  • Then, either claim your £10 back or collect a limited edition festival pack instead, packed with goodies and worth £25 (while stocks last!)
  • The Recycling Exchanges are clearly signposted, and can also be found in the program map.
  • ‘Drop & Go’ option – if you are happy to bring your recycling and other waste but don’t fancy sorting it yourself, come along anyway, just drop it off and get 50% of your deposit back (e.g. a fiver, rather than a tenner). Our amazing recycling team will then do your dirty work for you.
  • It just got a whole lot easier – anyone in your ticket group can reclaim the deposit on their wristband with just a quick zap – isn’t technology wonderful.
  • The big one – we’ll be giving out tickets to Shambala 2019 to random Recycling Exchangers!

Why do we do this?

About 70% of Shambala’s waste comes from the public campsites. Too much waste which could be recycled isn’t separated and in the past has gone to landfill. Often the waste in the green bags is too contaminated ( i.e. not separated) to be recycled efficiently.

The initiative is designed to inspire everyone to take recycling into their own hands (quite literally) to achieve maximum recycling rates, make the festival site cleaner and reduce landfill costs. The site is now amazingly more clean because of this initiative! Unclaimed deposits are strictly ring-fenced for environmental projects at the festival, such as helping pay for the staffing of the recycling exchanges and increased infrastructure for recycling.

Delve deeper into the mechanics and details of the Recycling Exchange HERE.

Compost Toilets

Compost toilets treat human waste and turn it into organic compost material, perfect for fertilising soil. They work by creating anaerobic conditions that facilitate the growth conditions for micro-organisms and bacteria that decompose the waste. This helps to destroy nasty pathogens, avoid water waste, limit the environmental impact and results in a product that can be used to fertilise soil. The beautiful flower planters on site (near the chair-o-plane) were actually grown using your.. well, you get the idea.

Food Waste

We do everything possible to avoid waste. To tackle surplus food and food waste we do collections from traders and campsites on Monday and give the food to a local surplus food café who provide Pay What You Feel meals in a community space.

Our approach to stuff

We are designing out waste and recycling as much as possible. Recycling is great if the stuff already exists, and although it helps to avoid landfilling or burning waste, it’s a process that consumes energy and creates pollutants, and often down-cycles materials. We aim to avoid using resources and materials unnecessarily in the first place by encouraging re-use wherever possible.

The Recycling Exchange helps reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by capturing as much separated materials ready for recycling as possible. Many hands make light work, and we believe it’s a positive thing to all be involved in managing our waste. We’re also committed to the polluter pays principle, i.e. if you don’t muck in, you’ve paid for someone else to do it. We’d rather everyone got involved however.

After the show, our Green Team collect all useable surplus food from traders and donates it to a pay-as-you-feel café.

We encourage all Shambalans to really think about what they bring with them this year – lets reduce the amount of unnecessary “stuff” on site.  This is already covered in the above sections – and there’s a section for the recycling exchange further up – this section seems to be repeating what we’ve already said.

HERE’S a little video about ‘stuff’ that we love, and think you’ll like.