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Those items and others can't be recycled in Summit County. Instead, vendors must offer knives, forks, plates and cups that can either be recycled or composted.
The Summit Daily News explains that the current requirements have been five years in the making. The municipal government in 2005 began tackling waste at smaller events sponsored by the town. Then, the town began offering reduced registration fees for event organizers who voluntarily adopted waste-reduction strategies. This year, going green has become mandatory.
Getting it all right has not been easy. Last year, for example, participants mistook the composting bin for a trash container. Steps have been taken to prevent such recurrences.
Organizers tell the Daily News that the mandate hasn't dampened enthusiasm for the Barbecue challenge. This year there is a waiting list of 20 teams who want to get in on the ribbing.