The annual Whitaker Dinner is trying to reduce its material waste, and has taken a big step towards doing so through reusable silverware.
The Lane County Master Recycler program came up with the idea of acquiring metal utensils about 3 years ago and finally reached their goal last month. 3,000 forks, 1,500 knives and 1,200 spoons have been collected to be used by the more than 2,000 people who attend the banquet. Coordinator Kelly Bell is glad to have their own set after relying on others for so long.
“Whitaker was using plastic silverware up until half a dozen years ago, and then I believe they started borrowing it from someone who was managing silverware for Oregon Country Fair. But we were relying on getting a hold of those folks in the winter time and that wasn’t always easy and kind of rattled some nerves.”
Bell says pie plates are reused as to-go boxes, since they can’t be recycled. Volunteers will be in charge of washing and counting the silverware after its use this year. The event will continue to use compostable plates and coffee cups to help reduce the waste sent to landfills.