Ask Renee: What will your WASTECON costume be? 

This event won't be a waste.

  • Bill Branson via Wikimedia Commons

Renee, we thought your Ask Renee readers might be interested in learning about food waste recovery and recycling at WASTECON, August 22-25. If you agree, please share!



I sure hope WASTECON inspires as many great costumes as the recent Gen Con did. I think I will dress as Williamina (we call her Billy for short), my favorite worm from the compost bin.

Seriously, though, this is the first time the premier solid waste industry-focused conference has been to Indianapolis, not to mention the first time in the Midwest since 2003! And the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is pulling out all the stops to make this a truly sustainable event.

In partnership with Second Helpings, excess food will be reclaimed and distributed to local homeless shelters and missions. Second Helpings rescues more than 2 million lbs of food every year and prepares about 4,000 meals per day. That’s a lot of food diverted from the landfill/incinerator into the mouths of those in need.

Food scraps that cannot be consumed will go to GreenCycle, where they turn food, yard and wood waste into mulch, compost and soil blends.

The Indiana Convention Center has committed to recycling all aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass, cardboard, pallets, paper and cooking oil. They also use a line of biodegradable service ware that can be processed by GreenCycle.

Other green initiatives include:

- Green Seal-certified cleaning products used throughout the Convention Center
- Milk, cheese and yogurt from a local, organic dairy farm, as well as local produce
- Energy efficiency and reduction efforts
- Water stations instead of bottled water

And that’s just the efforts being made during the event! Check out the WASTECON exhibition and education line up and start planning your costume now!

Piece out,


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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at
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