Waste Reduction

We’ve implemented 18 INITIATIVES to reduce waste at its source and responsibly manage the waste we do create. Waste reduction initiatives at Ultra have diverted over 184K pounds of waste and reduced 1.6 Million single-use plastic items from Miami’s landfills since 2019! Here are some highlights from what we’re doing and how you can join us in managing your waste responsibly.

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Reducing bar waste

Our bar teams from Best Beverage Catering have not used straws or napkins since 2019 to completely eliminate these beverage waste streams! An estimated 270K straws have been avoided since 2019. Additionally, we’ve switched all plastic cups to paper with the exception of bottle service cups, which have been switched to compostable bioplastic and will be collected by our new composting partner, Renuable! An estimated 700K plastic cups have been avoided since 2019.

Recycling right

Look out for the Clean Vibes color-coded waste stations and follow signage to properly separate trash and recyclables. Beer & soft drinks in aluminum cans, as well as plastic water and sports drink bottles, should always be recycled at Ultra. Have a chat with our “trash talkers” to learn how to recycle right and reduce waste destined for landfills! Our staff, artists, and crews also recycle behind the scenes. Since 2019, we’ve recycled over 137K pounds of material with a 100% acceptance rate at our local Materials Recovery Facility!

Recycling closer to home

We’re thrilled about the return of our partnership with Replenysh – a locally-based circularity platform with full traceability. Replenysh will recapture our plastic bottles and aluminum cans, as well as others from the community, and keep them in the regional domestic recycling supply chain. In 2023, this initiative kept over 80K pounds of material in the regional domestic supply chain!

Recycling even the tough stuff

Soft plastics, such as bags and wraps, are considered a hard-to-recycle material – but that’s no problem for the waste experts at Lady Green Recycling! These materials will be processed at their local facility.

Using only sustainable foodservice wares

Hungry? Our plastic and styrofoam FREE food vendors got you covered! All Ultra food vendors have switched to sustainable, backyard compostable foodservice wares… eliminating all styrofoam, plastics, and bioplastics! Behind the scenes, our staff catering is plastic-free, too. These initiatives have helped eliminate 88% of the single-use plastic types previously used at the festival!

Expanding our water refill stations

Water stations have eliminated over 600K single-use plastic bottles at Ultra! PLEASE bring your own security-approved hydration pack, or purchase one at our onsite Ultra merchandise store, so you can stay hydrated while reducing our use of plastics.

Expanding our composting program

All food prep scraps will be collected and composted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and re-introduce nutrients into local soil. This expands the program to include the collection of meat and dairy. Since 2019, we’ve composted over 7K pounds of food. This expansion combined with our food rescue program is intended to capture or repurpose a vast majority of the food waste previously created by festival vendors.

Donating supplies to local communities

We’re looking for opportunities to donate certain materials and supplies after the event, to give back to our local communities and divert waste from the landfill! Since 2022, this initiative has donated over 7K pounds of supplies to our community. Contact: [email protected] if your community organization may be a good candidate for donations.

Exploring strategies for wood diversion

Wood that can not be reused by our construction teams will be assessed for its ability to be reused by local artists or diverted from the landfill by a local landscaping and mulching service. We will continue exploring opportunities to repurpose these materials in innovative ways. Contact: [email protected] if you know of an organization or artist who may be interested in giving these materials a new home!

Recycling cooking oil

We donate our vendors’ used cooking oil to partners that recycle it into biodiesel. Cooking oil is a valuable resource that, when recycled instead of discarded, reduces emissions from waste, reduces our dependence on petroleum fuel sources, and contributes to clean air. Since 2022, this initiative has recycled almost 5K pounds of oil into biodiesel.

Shifting towards sustainable merchandise policies

Our merchandise team has requested that all vendors no longer line their merchandise in plastic bags and has fully eliminated plastic bags for shoppers! These simple shifts will reduce thousands of plastic bags from the waste stream. If you need a bag, paper ones are available upon request only – our staff will not auto-bag your swag!

The below Climate Action initiative reduces waste too!

Rescuing food and supporting communities in need

Our volunteers will collect any rescuable food from vendors and catering after the festival to support Miami Rescue Mission, our partnering local homeless outreach center. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions from food waste in landfills. No food left behind!