"Waste Free Chili Cookoff"

By KBJR News 1

September 14, 2011 Updated Sep 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM CDT

The United Way of Greater Duluth's 20th Annual Chili cook off is on Thursday and for the past five years their goal has been to make the event as green as possible.

In this week's "Your Green Life" Meteorologist Jeff Edmonds shows us how they plan to make this year's event waste free.

There is nothing like a cup of chili to warm you up on a chilly day. Multiply that by thousands of cups and you get a lot of chili being served to several thousand Northlanders. The United Way Chili cook–off is a lot of fun but, with thousands of paper cups, napkins and spoons how can you make this event waste free?

"The cups and the spoons are both biodegradable material that has been recycled from other materials", said Terri Lind Sulliin with the United Way.

"The spoons are made of a rice based product for the chili, and we just use little wooden paddles for the ice cream tasting", said Anita Gille with the United Way of Greater Duluth.

The ice cream cups are also made from a material that is biodegradable. And all the waste collected goes to WLSSD in Duluth to be turned into compost and rich soil for springtime planting. Last year more than one hundred pounds of waste was collected and composted.

"Over 6400 pounds in the last five years, instead of staying in a landfill where it would sit there," said Anita Gille.

Organizers say you can feel good about what you're doing for the environment while enjoying good times and good food.

"Bring the family it's an inexpensive event; six dollars general admission, three dollars for children twelve and under and kids five and under are free," said Anita Gille.

All the proceeds go to the United Way of Duluth where the money is distributed among organizations serving the community. In Duluth, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, the Northlands NewsCenter.

The United Way Annual Chili Cook Off will be held at the DECC Arena in Duluth Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30.