If you’ve been one of the many thousands of Kansas Citians attending “Jazzoo” at the Kansas City Zoo since 2010, you may have noticed (or not!) our distinctive Ripple Glass logo around the grounds. As one of KC’s most popular benefit events, “Jazzoo” and its patrons help feed the 1,700 animals at the Zoo and support its operations and educational programs – while enjoying delicious food, drink and entertainment. In 2010, a few months after Ripple’s launch, we were asked to provide glass recycling at the event, and wanting to be a good partner to the Zoo, we gladly accepted! (for more about this, see our story about Mary Nestle, event recycler extraordinaire.)
Fast forward to 2016, we have participated in “Jazzoo” every year since, and in June 2016, over 3,000 lbs of glass were collected at this event! Though “Jazzoo” is the largest benefit that Ripple Glass participates in, it is not the only local event where you may see us. Over the years since our launch, we have provided glass recycling support for many events – of all types and sizes! This past year, that list includes “Stems: A Garden Soiree” (at the Overland Park Arboretum), Cultivate KC’s “Dig-In! KC Benefit”, “Brew at the Zoo”, St. Ann’s Fall Festival and “Boulevardia”, to name a few!
For the bigger events, like “Jazzoo”, Ripple Glass delivers large plastic roll-carts to the event in a trailer, which are distributed at places around the venue for easy recycling of glass bottles by guests and volunteers. Then Ripple Glass comes around after the event and loads these carts back on to the trailer (a bit heavier than they were before!) and takes them to our processing plant in north east Kansas City. Since most of these events are held during weekends and evenings, it requires our staff to work overtime – and that is the challenge to us doing more of these events. We have to weigh the benefits (estimated amount of glass collected, sponsorship opportunities, exposure gained) against our costs, and that is done on a case-by-case basis. We always wish we could do more!
Smaller events are easier, as we loan out our smaller household purple totes, and they collect and deposit the glass themselves (into a big purple Ripple Glass bin, of course!) , and return the totes to us afterwards (washed out – very important!).
We love hearing from our glass recyclers who attend these events on how glad they are to see us there! If you are an organizer of an event and would Ripple Glass to “join the party”, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll see if we can help get your glass into the Ripple stream!