The Ventilator

Incorporating The Ranger's Blog

Isle of WightLitter and waste

The Isle of Wight Festival was a lot of rubbish… but good.

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

Yup, its true, The Ranger didn’t get to go to the Isle of Wight’s biggest event of the year, the recent festival, although he probably could have if he’d have wanted to. And as the person responsible for the field on which it was held you’d have thought he might wander by – but the whole site gets handed over to the festival organisers and actually The Ranger and his colleagues don’t have much to do with the main site until the festival packs up and moves out again any day now. But anyway, it seems as though the Festival was a massive success as usual, and the rain held off too! However, away from from the official festival site there has been a lot of clearing-up to do on the other bits of land round about, where festival-goers gathered in the hope of over-hearing the Rolling Stones et al for free. On Monday morning this was a typical sight on The Ranger’s patch:

Rubbish after Isle of Wight Festival

You can see the main festival stage being dismantled in the background, over the river. Now you can’t complain really – this was before the rangers got to work. As you can see the festival folk were in fact pretty well-behaved and bagged up their rubbish very politely – for the most part. There were a few who didn’t but the majority were very courteous guests. A gate got cut down, a few vehicles messed up the ground and there was some unfortunate damage to a sculpture, but otherwise, nice to have you all – come again next year. But one thing was very noticeable – there were just mountains of rubbish. However well brought-up our visitors were they sure did bring a lot of stuff with them, and didn’t for the most part believe in ‘take your rubbish home’. Looking over the festival site we saw machines sweeping it up in dunes, and for just a couple of nights of revelry there seemed to be a huge waste of things: tents, chairs, tables, sleeping bags, disposable BBQs, and piles of food and drink with or without packaging were significant components of the heaps we dealt with (you can see some of these above). Festival-going does not seem to be a very sustainable activity, in general. Perhaps festival enthusiasts might like to atone a little by visiting a great website We Are What We Do. They’ve been running a campaign to reduce plastic bag use called Plastic Ain’t My Bag:

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

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