Surrey Fusion Festival dishes out new green initiatives

Linda Hepner Photo by Jay Sharma of Mahi Photo Studio
Linda Hepner
Photo by Jay Sharma of Jay Photo Studio

STYROFOAM-FREE since 2014, the annual Surrey Fusion Festival—showcasing more than 50 cultural pavilions and authentic cuisine from around the globe—will now feature 100 per cent biodegradable plant-based straws and wooden cutlery.

Taking place this year July 21–22 at Holland Park, the two-day event is expected to draw more than 100,000 visitors. The event’s enhanced environmental focus, which includes on-site organics disposal carts, aims to minimize landfill waste and support Surrey’s vision for becoming a more sustainable city.

“Implementing important sustainable initiatives like these is key to successfully achieving the vision, goals and desired outcomes outlined in our Sustainability Charter,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. “We are proud to announce the inclusion of biodegradable straws and cutlery at the Surrey Fusion Festival, which has become such a popular destination for enjoying delicious food and experiencing culture from around the globe.”

The organic material, as part of the City of Surrey organics program, will be processed into 100 per cent renewable natural gas (RNG) at the new Surrey Biofuel Facility—the first fully integrated closed-loop waste-to-energy system of its kind in North America. RNG produced at the facility will then be used to fuel the city’s fleet of natural gas powered waste collection and operations service vehicles, with excess feeding the city’s environmentally sustainable District Energy System.

The Surrey Biofuel Facility has received national recognition from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) and earned the Envision Platinum Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. It is capable of diverting more than 115,000 tonnes of residential and commercial organic waste from the landfill each year and producing approximately 120,000 gigajoules of renewable natural gas (RNG), as well as approximately 45,000 tonnes of nutrient-rich compost, annually.

“We would like to thank all the vendors, committee members and event organizers who worked with us in support of this important initiative,” said Surrey Councillor Mike Starchuk, Chair, City of Surrey Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee. “Through collaboration and our rich tradition of community involvement, Surrey will move forward to become a thriving, green, inclusive city.”

Surrey Fusion Festival Named the “Best Festival” at the Regional Canadian Event Industry Awards in 2017, Surrey Fusion Festival brings together over 50 cultural and community groups from around the world and more than 150 artists and performers. Presented by Coast Capital Savings, the 2018 event welcomes headliners Walk Off The Earth to the stage on Saturday, July 21 and Ranjit Bawa on Sunday, July 22. For more information, visit surreyfusionfestival.ca.