Over one or several days a festival inevitably impacts on the environment. That's how it is. However, this impact can be kept under control and even reduced. Rock Werchter, TW Classic and Werchter Boutique have made this their goal. Green entrepreneurship really works. Green festivals are possible.
Nowadays, the festivalgoer takes it almost for granted. Thanks to our good partnership with the NMBS/SNCB and De Lijn, the e-festival tickets allow you to download a free e-train ticket for public transport (train/festival bus) in Belgium. In this way, Rock Werchter encourages festivalgoers to leave the car at home and head for the festival grounds by train or bus. A minor yet significant detail: De Lijn will use buses fitted with diesel particulate filters and a number of hybrid buses. The cycling festivalgoer is also well looked after with supervised bicycle parking areas, free of charge.
A little effort is rewarded if you collect 20 plastic cups or PET bottles on or around the site. For years, doing so has earned the festivalgoer a free drink token. This is a proven and successful recipe. And because a clean Festival Park is much more pleasant, our eco teams are permanently on duty.
The refuse mountain is a main focus though. Because wherever people gather, there's trash. An efficient way of getting rid of this refuse mountain is an important challenge for the Werchter festivals. In collaboration with SUEZ environment, expert in sustainable waste management and recycling, a plan for sorting and recycling our trash is put in place.
Waste expert SUEZ environnement and festival organizer Rock Werchter share a vision in which waste management doesn't stop at just collecting and getting rid of trash. The separation process on site, with recycling as the main goal, is even more important and plays a central role in a circular model that repurposes trash into a new function as a secondary resource.
In 2017, both partners sorted a total of 5 tonnes of foil, 17 tonnes of beer cups, 11 tonnes of plastic, metal and drink cartons (mainly plastic bottles) and 14 tonnes of paper. The beer cups and plastic bottles are recycled into PP products. Foil is converted into new foil. The collected paper and cardboard are turned into paper drinking cups. The leftover waste is used as fuel in waste-to-energy plants and thus become energy.
The sanitary facilities have been upgraded in 2015. The Festival Park is equipped with vacuum toilets. Festival-goers will be able to use the toilets in comfort. Vacuum toilets look like a normal toilet, complete with porcelain bowl. They are easy to keep clean. There is barely any unpleasant odour. It is possible to have high quality sanitary facilities in a festival environment.Vacuum toilets are available to festival goers in the Festival Park. The various sanitary blocks are also fitted out with vacuum urinals. The new vacuum toilets consume less than one litre of water per flush. The wastewater from the toilets is collected in buffer tanks and transported to Aquafin, where it is treated.
The water treatment plant which came into service in 2014, built in collaboration with Waterleau, continues in operation. The wastewater from the kitchens and showers backstage and in The Hive will be collected in the holding basins and treated organically on the spot. The septic material of the - still chemical - toilets at The Hive is transported to Aquafin.