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Fayetteville works to make Cyclo-Cross World Championship a zero-waste event

The City of Fayetteville has partnered with a local sustainability company in anticipation of a large amount of waste the Cyclo-Cross World Championship may bring.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The City of Fayetteville is preparing for hundreds of people to flock to the city for Walmart’s Cyclo-Cross Championships. People will be coming from around the globe to participate and watch cyclists compete for big titles. 

There will be mountain biking and road cycling competitions.

Fayetteville is gearing up for these large crowds and part of that prep is considering the amount of waste production this event will bring. The goal for this weekend’s event is zero waste. 

“We started working with food loops and the city of Fayetteville and it has been a joint effort and we’re working with them to make this a zero-waste event,” said Hazel Hernandez with Experience Fayetteville.

The City of Fayetteville partnered with an Arkansas-based sustainability company, Food Loops.

“It’s kind of a natural fit they want to divert waste and that’s how we measure things, divert waste from the landfill and give it a second life,” said Michael Kraus with Food Loops.

Food Loops is a company that provides compostable materials for both small and large events. The company also helps access waste after the event ends, by sorting the materials to go to their proper locations. The company says sustainability starts before the event begins. Food Loops began to prep for Cyclo-Cross back in December 2021.

“It starts with what goes into the event. We deal with a lot of what goes out of the event,” Kraus said.

The event is removing the word trash and replacing it with bins that read "recycle" and "everything else." These bins will help in the sorting process after items are disposed of. The company says nothing used at this event will go to the landfill.

When asked why now, Experience Fayetteville says this is the perfect opportunity to reduce the city’s waste.

“I think why not, this is an opportunity to implement what we know and what our city practices. So, yeah why not?” Hazel Hernandez said.

The opening ceremony is Thursday, Jan. 27 in Downtown Fayetteville at 5:30 p.m. The first competition begins Friday afternoon.

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