The Material Flow Analysis (MFA) below represents the material flows of DGTL in 2019. On the left, input materials are shown, and on the right, the impact of these materials is visualized. It becomes clear that most materials are reused or recycled. Especially backstage, building materials for decor and infrastructure are recovered in their original state and used again for the next edition of the festival. Regarding the front stage, however, there is still some progress to be made. In order for DGTL to have circular material flows, waste must be completely removed from the festival. Current waste streams consist of hard cups, cans and PET bottles brought to the festival by visitors. By banning these from the festival, the residual waste stream could greatly diminish and most materials from the festival would be either completely recovered to their original state or re-purposed to provide new value.
Hover over the rectangles in the visualisation!
The huge amount of waste generated in cities is one of the largest environmental impact of our current society. Generating waste causes leakage of chemicals disturbing our natural environment and leads to resource degradation and resource spillage. Resources lose their value and can no longer be returned to their original status which is problematic in a time of resource scarceness.
The city of Amsterdam produces approximately 250.000 tons of household waste per year. In 2013 a typical Amsterdam citizen created an average of 322 kg household waste per year, of which 19% was recycled. This is relatively low compared to some other cities in Europe (Oslo 38% and Vienna 45%). Ultimately, the city should focus on generating less waste, however, now the main focus in Amsterdam is on recycling. The city aims to catch up and recycle 65% of the household waste by the end of 2020 (Gemeente Amsterdam, 2018).
Similar to cities, one of the main environmental impacts of festivals is the waste generation over a relative short amount of time. A typical festival visitor produces twice the amount of waste that he or she would normally produce in a day as household waste (Wilson, 2020). Besides individual waste, a large waste stream is generated backstage including building materials for stages and decoration. For the the majority of festivals, waste is improperly discarded and downgraded to residual waste. This is unfortunate because festival waste often contains valuable resources and processing waste is often energy intensive and contributes to carbon emissions.
DGTL hopes to change the wasteful culture of festivals. In 2019 DGTL produced 6200 kg of residual (un-separated) waste which is 7 times less waste than the average festival. Adding up all of the residual waste streams, both from what visitors throw in the trash and what is produced from the festival setup, amounts to about less than 180 grams of waste per festival attendee. On average, this is less waste than a person would produce if they stayed home, making DGTL's waste system more preferable to not only that of other festivals but also to most cities.