60,000 abandoned tents and mounds of camping gear destined for landfill after Reading Festival

Many believe that after a festival, the one-use tents they leave behind will simply be donated to charity.

Unfortunately, even though many of them will have only be slept in for one night, they will be scooped up by diggers along with the other shocking amount of waste that festival campers leave behind, and dumped in landfill – alongside perfectly usable chairs, airbeds and other camping gear.

The costs of clearing up the huge mess is met by festival organisers, who have factored the clean-up cost into the ticket price – so festival goers who want cheaper tickets should bear this in mind.  Meanwhile, many of the UK’s homeless or even charity shops could make good use of these tents – but clean up needs to be done too quickly to allow for sifting through the 60,000 tents to find those that can be re-used.

Despite most festivals having recycling points, they fill up fast, however the images would indicate that most don’t even attempt to recycle, and just leave their tent behind alongside all their other waste.

Metro reports today on the mess left behind at the Reading Festival, where they estimate that one field holds 60,000 abandoned tents alongside a shameful sea of litter, dumped drinks cans and cardboard food containers.  With hundreds of music festivals across the UK, across every musical genre, it’s a pretty sobering thought that this amount of waste is not a one-off.

Festival organisers have this advice:

‘When packing ready for the festival weekend, remember to pack wisely and only bring essential items, please do not bring any single use plastic (plastic bottles are allowed). A huge operation will now take place to remove the tents and all the rubbish that was left behind (Picture: INS) Most of the tents will now be thrown away because they can’t be recycled or given to charity (Picture: INS) ‘If you do bring your own tent we ask you to please take your it along with any other camping equipment home with you. If you leave it in the field it will most likely end up in landfill or incineration. ‘If you have any broken or unwanted tents chairs, gazebos, empty batteries, unopened tins of food after the festival, please take them to the Nifty Recycling Points. ‘If you want to donate your tent to charity, take it to your local charity shop. Please don’t leave it in the field.’

Clearly, recycling or donating your tent to charity is preferable to dumping it in a field, and most of the tents used at festivals take minimal time to disassemble and drop off to the nearest recycling facility.  However, if your festival tent is damaged, should you just leave it behind?

“That’s a firm no!”, says Lisa Baker, editor of Camping in Britain.  “This sight of abandoned rubbish is shameful and reflects how throwaway our society has become – dropping these tents off at recycling points could see charities make use of the parts, and the plastic and canvas could be recycled – almost every festival has recycling points – why not just walk across before you leave?”  

“Most regular campers care about the environment, and therefore replace, reuse, recycle is a good policy to have.  I am always happy to collect damaged or unwanted tents from their former owners in the South Wales area.  They can often be repaired and gifted to someone in need, or parts of the tent can be used to repair other tents.  A broken pole can cost up to £20 to replace, depending on the tent, so two damaged tents can often make one whole one – plus for better quality tents, repairs are often worthwhile even if you have to pay for the parts.”

A big clean up operation starts today at Reading – lets hope as we get more aware of how much our landfill is hurting the environment, we will see more efforts to recycle our waste.


Image Source: An estimated 60,000 tents were left behind by people at Reading Festival over the weekend (Picture: INS)

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/29/thousands-of-tents-left-behind-at-reading-festival-that-will-now-go-to-landfill-7891779/?ito=social?ito=cbshare