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The Smellier Side To JazzFest Cleanup

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As quickly as the tents, stages, and food vendors for the 22nd Annual JazzFest were set up, they were taken down. Crews began cleaning up late Saturday night and continued into early Sunday morning. But some had messier jobs than others.

Yankton Trail Park sits a lot quieter than it did a day ago, as maintenance crews begin the cleanup.

“We left around one or two Sunday morning, and then we were back at 7 a.m. to get it all taken care of,” said Robert Joyce, Executive Director of Sioux Falls Blues and Jazz JazzFest.

And with 46 vendors, 41 tents, three stages, 400 signs, and 146 porta potties, all brought in for the three day event, Joyce said it’s no small feat.

And while there is a lot of manual labor that goes into picking up after JazzFest, there's a whole other side to it that's a little smellier.

"We show up when the people show up. And since there are so many people here, a lot of times they can't get to where they need to get for their trash,” said Shaun Feilmeier, Millennium Recycling.

That's where Feilmeier and his team of volunteers from Millennium Recycling come in. The company goes out to events like JazzFest to pick up the messes left behind. Volunteers get paid and that money goes to a charity or an organization of their choice.

“There's a lot of cigarette butts out here,” said Lisa Gonzales, a volunteer with Millennium Recycling.

Gonzales said she is picking up trash to help pay for her daughters' dance lessons.

“I would say (I've picked up) easily over 100 (bags). Saturday night alone from 11 p.m. to midnight I probably filled up around 20 bags alone,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales said it’s not only a good way to help out the environment, but she also gets some quality time with her daughter- who also learned some valuable lessons.
“It's a great opportunity for our kids to get out here and realize, for the lack of a better term, the value of a dollar,” Gonzales said.

 As for Joyce he said he's happy another successful JazzFest is in the books. But after five days of setting up, taking down, and everything else in between, he's a little tired.

“It's a good tired though,” said Joyce. “And we know everybody that works on our committee and volunteers, knows it's a labor of love.”

Joyce said he doesn’t know the final tally on attendance for JazzFest, but he expects it be around 125,000.
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