Ken handled the recycling on the second leg of the U.S. tour which I did not go on as it was only 10 dates. Initially we had our merchandise guy Ross handle the recycling for the first part of the first leg of the initial Divided by Night tour for The Crystal Method. I was expecting to do this myself actually but he felt personally inspired and he had experience doing this with other bands, so I let him run with it. I was, after all, still in the midst of planning the eco-table concept and felt this would relieve me of a little stress.
Ken Jordan of The Crystal Method
A tour bus is NOT a small city that accepts recycling, meaning -you do not just sort the trash and recycling into different bins, and expect the city to take care of it for you. On a tour bus, you are a moving tribe of music related gypsies that needs to figure out the recycling options in the towns you are patronize.
On a "normal" tour bus, there is only one shoot, and that is for trash. If you want to recycle, you need to sort and put the recyclables in their own bag and either pawn it off on a venue, some eco-inspired people, or search out a recycling bin somewhere in the city.
The guys (The Crystal Method) bought recycling bins for the bus, two for the front lounge and two for the back lounge. On the first leg of the tour, there were twelve of us total -the band (Ken & Scott), an opening dj, myself, the tour manager, the merchandise guy (Ross), and of course, the crew; quite a full bus!
Basically at every venue we are given a "rider" which I have spoken about in previous posts. At the end of the a show, we take the unused portion of the rider with us which includes (now) organic foods, organic beer, organic vodka, organic mixers (such as juices), and typically a lot of bottled water. Unfortunately bottled water seems to be an inevitable consequence of touring. Most tour buses do not have an endless reservoir of clean drinking water. In fact there is very little water and it is recommended you don't drink it. In addition to this, while at the venues, it is mainly the crew that needs on hand, easy to access water (with a cap!). Crew, while working, are busy -bottles of water are easy to grab. Caps are necessary as it prevents spills if a bottle is knocked over. Crew would almost need someone waiting on/serving them (water in reusable and capped bottles) from the venue while working to alleviate this problem. So water bottles were prevalent at the club and made their way back onto the bus where, we needed water anyway to make it through the journey to the next town. My point is that with water bottles, beer bottles, vodka bottles and 12 people … those 4 little cans filled up pretty quickly. Ross handled emptying them out into a trash (well, our case "recyclables bag") for the first half of this tour and then got a little frustrated sorting, and handed the responsibility. I was more than happy to take on. If we want to see change, we must be the change first so …
Anyway, once we filled the recyclable bags we would unload it onto venues that accepted recycling (unfortunately many still do not), or pawn it off on the lovely eco-table organization's volunteers -however, high marks to St. Louis's The Pageant, Aspen's Belly Up, and Minneapolis's First Avenue for great and visible recycling programs at their venues).
I have a short video clip you can check out here: http://animoto.com/play/c8VEHoqjRKumEB1PTBcaoQ?autostart=true –it includes our recycling efforts, you will see that my eco-table people from the Tempe show, The Desert Foothills Land Trust, got the recyclables for our night there. You may also notice our attempts at "re-using" … "reducing" is harder to show. Recycling is always great, but REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE is a hierarchy -first we should reduce, then reuse, then recycle.