The Cataylst Newsletter
Sustainability at Events
Festivals, concerts, and conferences are just a few examples of large events that bring people together for a common cause. Whether you are joining like-minded individuals to learn about new innovations in your field or just headed to Bonnaroo with your closest friends, one major concern with large events is their environmental impact and how to make them more sustainable. Large crowds gathering in a common area can result in significant waste streams, litter, and the need for large quantities of energy. Over the past couple of years, we have seen a shift in how event coordinators address these issues.
Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville has built an experienced sustainability team to attack their waste problem. This team works during events by taking the waste produced and sorting it into the appropriate bins for recycling. Last year they were able to compost over 27,000 pounds of organic material, along with thousands of pounds of hard-to-recycle materials. An integral part of this operation is finding vendors that can take these materials. TerraCycle is a great example of a vendor that has developed waste management solutions for all different kinds of problem wastes, from cigarette butts to solo cups.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has called Manchester, TN, home for two decades. Every year the festival finds more ways to become less environmentally impactful. Just by purchasing a ticket to Bonnaroo, attendees support their sustainability efforts on-site. One dollar from every ticket sold goes towards sustainability work like their permanent compost pad, solar array, community education, carbon offsets, food recovery efforts and food bank donations. Along with many other Live Nation venues, Bonnaroo has started using the company, TURN, for their reusable cups. TURN has stopped over 30 million single-use cups from landfills with their proprietary capture and reuse system.
Event success is dependent on attendance, so it is important as a consumer to realize the footprint of coming together and enjoying a venue. Choose wisely and encourage your favorite places to be more sustainable. 
Community Corner
The Environmental Project Idea Compendium (EPIC) is a system launched by TDEC for local governments, colleges and universities, non-profits, and other entities to submit environmental project ideas in various stages of development. TDEC will catalogue these project ideas and maintain them in an internal database. The purpose of this database is to collect project ideas from groups across Tennessee to promote collaboration, align potential projects with funding and/or financing sources, and proactively prepare for future, potentially time-sensitive funding opportunities. 
Interested in submitting a project idea to EPIC? Please visit our website to learn more and submit your project idea. Questions about EPIC may be directed to Jenn Tribble with TDEC’s Office of Policy and Planning at
Awards Deadline Approaching!
The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards (TSTAs) recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state, consistent with ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans, provide for a strong economy, and protect and enhance our state’s natural resources. The TSTAs are awarded each year by TDEC and TDOT. Winners of the TSTAs are honored at a special ceremony during the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo (STF&E). Nominations for the 2022 TSTAs are due by August 19, 2022.
Business Corner

State Government Corner
In our May newsletter, we announced an exciting TN CUPP partnership between Lemoyne-Owen College (LOC) and Shelby County where LOC students will conduct lead testing outreach to childcare facilities located in the county’s underserved communities. We are now excited to announce a similar partnership between the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) and its surrounding counties. UTC students will encourage childcare facilities in southeast Tennessee to take advantage of the free lead testing services.
This testing will determine lead concentration at all of the facility’s drinking water outlets. This is a very important project because high lead levels can impact the quality of life for our children, especially children under the age of five. TDEC staff and students will reach out to facilities if results are equal to or above the action level of 15 parts per billion and provide guidance on resampling and remediation procedures. Referrals will be made for facilities needing remediation to the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS), where facilities will be eligible for up to $1000 in remediation funding through the Support and Enhancement Grant to remove lead from their drinking water. You can visit the TN Department of Health’s website for more information. 
Small Business Environmental Assistance Program
Last month, we introduced you to SBEAP. This month, we will share examples of the common assistance requests we receive to give you an idea of how SBEAP can help you.
  • TDEC staff notified me that I need to obtain or renew a permit. How do I do this?
Call (800-734-3619) or email us! Explain to us what your facility does and the equipment it uses, and we can tell you what applications are needed to submit to TDEC. If you fit our definition of small business (less than 100 employees and not a major source of air pollutant emissions or a large quantity generator of hazardous waste), then SBEAP can help complete those applications for you!
  • I operate a gas station, an autobody shop, or an emergency generator for my business. Is there an easier process for my small business to get the necessary air permits?
      Yes! TDEC offers a Permit by Rule for gasoline dispensing facilities and autobody shops. The applications have been simplified to be specific to your operations. If you still need help, call (800-734-3619) or email us!
Remember, SBEAP’s services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL! 
Recipe of the Month 
Grilled Summer Squashes with Chow Chow Chimichurri
Grilled Summer Squashes with Chow-Chow Chimichurri
News Articles
    August 6, 2022 | Registration and Festival begins at 6:30am CST
Funding Opportunities
  Application Due: September 11,2022
Conferences/Workshops/Training Opportunities
    August 4-6, 2022
    August 24-26, 2022
    October 19-21, 2022
    October 24-26, 2022
Stay tuned as we receive updates about upcoming conferences. 
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