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Des Moines Arts Festival’s Push to Keep City Clean

DES MOINES, Iowa-- The Des Moines Arts Festival is the first festival in the Metro that requires vendors to use biodegradable products, it's a push for zero waste.

All 17 trash bins help people figure out if their trash is recycle, compost, or landfill.

"The signs educate people as they pass by they are easy to read, I was able to figure out which bin to put my waste in," Des Moines resident Sam Pattison said.

Some people say the signs are art, and it is all part of a zero-waste initiative.

"I think it’s a great idea that such a huge event is trying this out, to try and recycle and save our planet," Clive resident Betty Ferree said.

Organizers say,  over the last three years the festival has reduced its landfill tonnage 30 percent.

"Kind of be a leader in that too with compostable and recyclables taking a forefront a minimizing our waste," Sustainable team member Katelin Brown said.

This year, the zero-waste push is even stronger.

"This is the first festival in Des Moines to do something like this, that the vendors serve is compostable," Brown said.

From biodegradable cups and napkins to generators run on bio-diesel, organizers say it’s been a long time coming.

"It’s taken three years for us to achieve this it’s been a positive change to get these vendors on board and using these products," Brown said.

Just like the art at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, this initiative wasn't built in a day, and it's one the community hopes will last forever.

The initiative is volunteer-based.