Sustainability at Canal Convergence

Re-Cyclone at Burning Man
Martin Taylor and the Chromaforms Art Collective used 5,000 upcycled plastic bottles to create Re-Cyclone, which made its debut at Burning Man in early September and will be a featured at Canal Convergence from Nov. 9-18.

The Commitment

Scottsdale Public Art is partnering with Scottsdale Solid Waste and local businesses to reduce the amount of waste at Canal Convergence each year. Our goal is to divert up to 90 percent of non-hazardous waste materials through recycling and composting efforts.


Our success in a sustainable event requires strong relationships with our partners to boost the economic, social and environmental significance of Scottsdale. The Canal Convergence team works to develop our event around eco-conscious efforts that reinforce our zero-waste goal. Below are examples of this year’s efforts:

  1. We are working with Scottsdale Solid Waste to provide the event with three-compartment bins with divisions for trash, recycling and composting. Solid Waste will also be on site to provide tips for increasing their sustainability efforts at home.
  2. All food waste from the event will be composted and processed with Recycled City, a Valley business that collects compost and delivers it to local farms and gardens.
  3. All food vendors at Canal Convergence will be required to use food service disposables that are compostable and/or biodegradable.
  4. Patrons will be encouraged to bring reusable water bottles from home that may be filled at water stations at the event, diverting plastic bottles from the landfill.
  5. Canal Convergence is partnering with rideshare companies to encourage carpooling to the Scottsdale Waterfront for the event. This will help lower carbon emissions, reduce fuel consumption and relieve parking congestion.
  6. Biking to the event is encouraged. Additional partners like Lime Bike and Bird are available for bicycle rentals, enabling visitors to enjoy a leisurely ride through Old Town Scottsdale or along the Waterfront on their way to Canal Convergence.
  7. Our food and beverage vendors are Arizona-based companies that sell a variety of locally-sourced products. By supporting them, visitors to Canal Convergence are helping local farms, artisans and small business owners.
  8. All of our artists are encouraged to submit proposals that implement and/or encourage sustainable practices. Many of the art installations use energy-saving LEDs. Re-Cyclone by Martin Taylor and the Chromaforms Art Collective, was constructed from 5,000 upcycled plastic water bottles collected by students in California. Taylor will also present a workshop, where participants will use plastic bottle caps collected by Scottsdale Public Art to create a communal 3D mosaic mural.
  9. A portion of our programming is sustainability-focused, including Vermicompost 101 by Michael Jennings, where participants will create their own worm-composting bins. Artist Ann Morton will also host a workshop to teach participants how to make LED-illuminated holiday garlands from recyclables.
  10. Scottsdale Public Art is working with Scottsdale Solid Waste and local artists to develop proposals to use metal recycled from old Dumpsters to build permanent trash and recycling receptacles along the canal banks.

Recycling Bin Gallery with Scottsdale Solid Waste Services

Reduce, reuse, and recycle—then repair and recreate! Recycling bins, provided by the City of Scottsdale’s Solid Waste Services, were reimagined by local students and turned into engaging works of art. Vote for your favorite upcycled artwork by using the bins for your recycling waste. The heaviest bin will be awarded a prize for their school’s visual arts program.
On view Nov. 9–18

Public Art Design Competition with Scottsdale Solid Waste Services

Scottsdale Public Art is working with Scottsdale Solid Waste Services to create permanent recycling bins for the Scottsdale Waterfront. An artist will be commissioned to create bins from the recycled metal of decommissioned Dumpsters. Canal Convergence attendees can vote on models from the proposed shortlist of artists. The final works will be completed and installed for Canal Convergence 2019.
On view Nov. 9–18

Live Mural Painting with Kyllan Maney
Local artist Kyllan Maney will conduct three live mural painting sessions during Canal Convergence, each featuring one of the following themes: water, light, and sustainability. Maney will engage the public in interactive workshops where guests can be a part of the art and contribute to the completion of the murals.
See daily schedule.

Dump Truck Exploration with Scottsdale Solid Waste Services
Scottsdale Solid Waste Services will be at the Waterfront to provide tips about recycling and to educate the public about other ways to live a more sustainable life.
Workshop Roundabout, Thursday, Nov. 15, 4–8 p.m.

History of Sustainability Efforts at Canal Convergence

This focus on sustainability is a relatively new focus for Canal Convergence, an event first established in 2012. Recycling and composting efforts were first implemented during the 2018 spring event in February and March. That event also featured recyclable plastic cups and bicycle valets to encourage attendees to ride their bikes instead of driving. Also in the spring 2018 event, the artists from Barter Boat encouraged a different kind of recycling by soliciting small items that might be considered junk to some and turning it into curated artworks.

About Re-Cyclone by Martin Taylor and the Chromaforms Art Collective

Re-Cyclone is a 20-foot-tall, 10-foot-diameter, rotating sculpture made from 5,000 upcycled plastic water bottles arranged in the shape of a tornado. Animated light illuminates Re-Cyclone when participants rotate the sculpture with a hand-wheel at the base. LEDs mounted in the mouth of each bottle are wired to a computer control system that reads the movement of the sculpture and causes the LEDs to react. Re-Cyclone embraces a sustainable message, designed to inspire people to use their creativity to address pressing environmental challenges that threaten our oceans and waterways.

About Vermicompost 101 — Composting with Worms! by Michael Jennings

In Vermicompost 101, Michael Jennings will lead participants through a workshop to create small worm-composting bins for disposal of food scraps and other organic wastes in an environmentally friendly manner. The worms live alongside microorganisms, and over time they convert organic materials like paper, food scraps and cardboard into a substance that can be used to fertilize plants. Vermicomposting promotes sustainable living habits at home to help reduce the amount of organic matter going into landfills, repurposing it into a useful, environmentally friendly byproduct.

About Repurposed LED-Illuminated Holiday Garlands by Ann Morton

This workshop will teach participants how to make LED-illuminated, crystalline garland for the holidays using recyclable materials like plastic bottles, aluminum cans and milk jugs. Morton will guide participants through making the various components and the final assembly of a simple but surprisingly beautiful decorative object.