Since 1992, the WOMADelaide Foundation has had the privilege of hiring Botanic Park from the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide, which purchased the land for the park in 1866. The Park is a magnificent 34-hectare arboretum of several hundred trees, some of which are over a century old, vast lawns and endangered flora.
WOMADelaide takes great pride in doing as much as possible to protect the Park (extreme weather conditions notwithstanding) and to return Botanic Park back to the Gardens in near-perfect condition. In 2013, WOMADelaide was proudly the Winner of the Partnerships Project in the Premier's Natural Resources Management Award for our relationship with Greening Australia.
To reduce reliance on plastic products and remove landfill items from being sold at the festival, we have taken the following steps.
WOMADelaide aims to be a completely zero-waste-to-landfill event, currently diverting 98% of all waste away from landfill.
In 2001 WOMADelaide was the first major event in Australia to adopt a waste management strategy that meant only biodegradable and recyclable wastes were produced by festival goers - this included cups, plates, crockery, serviettes and any items sold in packaging. In 2009, the three bin system that can now be seen at many other festivals was implemented, and in 2015 we upgraded our requirements to mandate that only compostable cups, utensils and packaging was used.
Sustainable waste management is an important part of the festival’s operating considerations with WOMADelaide’s waste management program being coordinated by Australian Green Clean, market leaders in the delivery of high quality and environmentally sustainable cleaning and waste management. Working in partnership with SITA and Jeffries, Australian Green Clean provides a ‘zero waste’ solution to WOMADelaide by diverting waste away from landfill and into a sustainable pathway, including hand-sorting of waste on-site as required.
All organic waste generated at WOMADelaide is mulched by Jeffries, treated for composting and delivered back to and used by the Botanic Gardens. Jeffries provides this mulch free of charge. In recent years we have been able to return up to 16 tonnes of composted green waste from the festival as organic mulch for use by the Botanic Gardens.
Importantly, Australian Green Clean are also helping to educate the WOMADelaide volunteer Green Team on our waste management pathways and reclamation efforts with guided tours of their processing facilities. The WOMADelaide Green Team is on-hand throughout the festival to help educate and direct patrons on our waste streams and recycling efforts.
WOMADelaide instituted the use of fully compostable cups at all bars in 2014, and in 2018 the festival moved to providing re-usable cups and water bottles at all bars to engage in circular economy practices. Each cup is designed to be re-used as much as possible and collected at the end of the event to be used at the next festival (or other festivals and events across the country), as we try to move further towards a waste-free, circular economy. In 2020, we also eliminated entirely the sale of single-use plastics in the form of PET plastic drink bottles from our participating stallholders and vendors.
We have been investigating alternatives to disposable cable ties, with a number of new methods being trialled on an ongoing basis since WOMADelaide 2019, including investing in over 3000 re-usable ties. Read more HERE.
Since 2007, Greening Australia and WOMADelaide have been working together to offset the festival’s carbon footprint and tackle climate change. This award-winning partnership has invested $2 from every ticket sold back into tree plantings to create native, biodiverse forests in regional South Australia.
As of 2020, over 75,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted in two WOMADelaide Forests, near the Coorong and Lower Lakes and on Kangaroo Island, to offset over 21,650 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The WOMADelaide community’s contribution is making a noticeable difference even in young plantings, with bird species returning in growing numbers and increasing insect and plant diversity.
The largest planting site of 50 hectares is located near Langhorne Creek between the Ferries-McDonald Conservation Park and the Bremer River. This restoration site has matured into a functioning mallee woodland, which at last count was supporting 70 bird species, including rare and threatened bird species like the Hooded Robin and Diamond Firetail.
The plantings include species of:
- Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha)
- Wallowa (Acacia calamifolia)
- Sticky Hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa ssp. spatulata)
Image: Photo point progression of the Coorong & Lower Lakes WOMADelaide Forest site.
The most recent plantings are located on Kangaroo Island, where groves of Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata) are being established as a vital food source for the local population of the endangered Glossy Black-Cockatoo. At completion the site will also support a 20ha reconstructed Kangaroo Island Narrow-leaf Mallee (Eucalyptus cneorifolia) woodland, which is a nationally threatened ecological community found nowhere else on earth.
All plantings are undertaken using local native seed, and are designed to be consistent with the Environmental Plantings Methodology under the Carbon Farming Initiative Act of the Australian Government.
Where To Next?
Greening Australia’s management of the WOMADelaide forests is ongoing, to ensure they continue to function as woodland ecosystems which provide habitat for our unique Australian species.
We are all responsible for contributing to climate change, and you can play an active role in the solution by offsetting carbon emissions produced by you or your organisation through plantings managed by Greening Australia.
To find out more about how you can reduce your ecological footprint visit www.greeningaustralia.org.au/
WOMADelaide encourages patrons attending the event to ride a bike. The festival offers staffed bike parks at each of the main entrances to accommodate more than 700 bikes.
Don't Park Your Butt in the Park!
WOMADelaide has been a smoke-free event since 2017. Festival goers wishing to smoke will be able to do so in the designated smoking areas near the Frome and Hackney Road entrances. Please ensure you dispose of your cigarette butts appropriately in the butt bins provided in these areas.
Help Us Look After The Park
Botanic Park is the ‘green heart’ of Adelaide – 34 hectares of century old trees, vast lawns and endangered flora. WOMADelaide is in the enviable position of having the privilege to stage the festival on these grounds.
Please do not climb on the trees, hang anything from the branches or damage other flora.