Detroit Jazz Festival Strengthens Greening Program


DETROIT — The Detroit Jazz Festival “Imported from Detroit” is going green for the fifth consecutive year thanks to the efforts of DTE Energy Foundation’s Greening of the Detroit Jazz Festival program, which aims to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

The Greening Program is able to collect and recycle tons of waste throughout Labor Day weekend. Last year the program recycled 85 percent of the 5.2 tons of waste collected, a significant increase from 2011, where the program recycled 67 percent of the 5.1 tons of waste collected. In addition, the 2012 program saw a 77-percent increase in labor hours from 2011, and included 22 more recycling bins and more signage to increase the visibility of the greening initiatives.

“We are honored to have the opportunity year after year to reduce the carbon footprint of this world-renowned Festival, and we look forward to another promising year of greening Detroit,” said Joyce Hayes Giles, DTE Energy senior vice president, public affairs, and foundation chair. “The Detroit Jazz Festival is so influential in the community and on the city’s culture; we want to help take that one step further.”

This year, Schupan Recycling — a 45-year-old company based in Kalamazoo that manages the processing of 90 percent of Michigan’s deposit containers — is joining in the efforts to manage onsite sorting and grow the festival’s greening initiative by ensuring all material is recycled properly. Schupan brings six years of event recycling experience, providing over 5,600 days of events in the last five years to over 8.8 million attendees.

Organizers of the Greening Program are constantly developing new, innovative program additions to consistently improve results. New to the program this year is Detroit Jazz Festival Unplugged, a series of acoustic performances featuring artists from the Festival’s main lineup. Held in the Jazz Talk Tent, the performances will provide an exclusive opportunity to hear artists in a more intimate setting, and allow Festival organizers to talk about their relationship with the DTE Energy Foundation, highlighting the importance of its greening initiatives. In 2012, program additions that will continue this year include expanded Greening Program headquarters and sorting compound, more energy efficient transportation for staff, and solar-powered lighting.

Additional Greening Program efforts include:

  • WEMU-sponsored shuttle service that will carry festival attendees from Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to the Detroit Jazz Festival and back, saving thousands of vehicle miles.
  • Digital artist application process saving paper previously used for hundreds of artist packets as well as CDs for the process of selecting regional musicians.
  • Providing Festival staff and volunteers with reusable coolers instead of single-use water bottles.
  • Using paperless alternatives such as mobile applications, text messaging, and e-mail, which allow fans to keep track of stage schedules, read artist bios, and review other event details.
  • Usage of compostable cups and plates for all catered food at the festival.
  • A special V.I.P. hotel package offered by the official hotel of the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, is encouraging festival attendees to spend the weekend downtown, helping to decrease traffic and the need to drive to and from the festival over the weekend. To find out more about the V.I.P. package and to book your stay, visit

“We are thrilled with the difference the Greening Program has made over the years, and hope to see even more Festival attendees helping us keep the great city of Detroit clean and environmentally friendly,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. “We want to show the community that we’re not just here to bring great music and put on an amazing event. The Festival is about making a positive impact on the city in any way we can and the Greening Program is another way for us to give thanks.

Festival goers interested in supporting the Detroit Jazz Festival and helping it maintain its reputation as the world’s largest free jazz festival can donate $5 by texting the keyword KIF5 to 20222 from their mobile phones. Likewise, the DTE Energy Foundation will have “Keep it Free” kiosks set up at the Festival. Attendees can easily use the kiosks to donate to the organization, as well as purchase the official Festival program, which will be printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified recycled paper.