Cleanest State Fair in America

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Iowa State Fair is not only a great entertainment event, but it is also one of the cleanest and most attractive fairs in the nation. That is a title other State Fairs should try to attain, but, it is clearly a title that the Iowa State Fair can proudly claim.

Keep Iowa Beautiful and Waste Management (the waste contractor for the Iowa State Fair) have been working with the Iowa State Fair for over eight years in changing the behavior patterns of visitors.

Prior to the partnership efforts, the State Fair was heavily littered. That image of a littered fairground tends to have a negative impact on the visitor experience and to some degree attendance. It certainly doesn't provide a sense of pride.

Today's State Fair visitor has become conscious of the need to place waste in the proper containers and to discourage littering. Additionally, recycling is becoming an increasingly important element of the State Fair grounds management. The State Fair visitor recognizes the importance of a litter free area and is slowly being trained to accept the value of recycling.

Along with the many new improvements to the grounds and facilities, keeping them clean helps to provide a public image that encourages pride and respect.

Changes are occurring to make the Fair not only the cleanest, but maybe even the greenest in the nation. The State Fair staff, along with Waste Management, are making changes to reflect the concepts of sound environmental management through reducing litter, decreasing waste volumes, increasing recycling, reducing energy consumption levels and in general reducing their "carbon footprint." It is fast becoming a great "role model" for other events.

As visitors to the Iowa State Fair, it is our challenge to help the three organizations achieve those objectives. Keep Iowa Beautiful is proud to be a part of making the Iowa State Fair the cleanest and environmentally well managed in the nation. Take time to thank the "Okay Crew" with the bright green t-shirts. They are the ones that are picking up remnant litter items. Stop by the Keep Iowa Beautiful booth in the Varied Industries Building and find out about initiatives to make your community or local fair litter free and attractive.

Above all compliment the staff and State Fair Board members for a job well done.

Take pride in our great State Fair and place your waste items in the proper place -- have fun and enjoy.

(Gerald F. Schnepf, Executive Director, Keep Iowa Beautiful)