Sioux Falls Event Recycling Rates Double Thanks to Local Nonprofit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., February 28, 2019 — Ecomaniacs, a South Dakota nonprofit organization, has announced the average recycling rate of Sioux Falls area events has doubled since it officially began five years ago. Since 2014, the Ecomaniacs have been committed to increasing the regional recycling rate through educational outreach, nonprofit fundraising support, and litter cleanup.

With the help of over 2,200 volunteers working more than 1,100 hours, the Ecomaniacs have been able to increase the average recycling rate from less than 25 percent in 2014 to an impressive 48 percent in 2018 at events like Jazzfest, Riverfest, Hot Harley Nights, and Cinco De Mayo. The program has saved over eighty-five thousand pounds of recyclable event waste from being buried in the landfill.

“Thanks to the Ecomaniacs, Sioux Falls residents and visitors from other areas are able to learn about recycling not only in their homes, but also when they’re out enjoying community events,” says Steven Dahlmeier, Program Director of DTSF, “Since they have been working with us at our First Friday events, we have increased our recycling rate to over 63 percent. That’s a huge accomplishment and we are very proud to be part of the solution, keeping our city and environment clean.”

In total, the Ecomaniacs have donated over $75,000 to local nonprofit organizations such as 4H clubs, church groups, and sports teams in return for volunteer efforts picking up litter at events. One group from Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Hills, Minnesota used the funds they raised for a recent trip to Houston, Texas where ten of their high school students attended the annual ELCA Youth Gathering with over thirty thousand other attendees.

“Many of our youth that attended had never been in a city larger than Sioux Falls,” said Pastor Maggie Berndt-Dreyer, “We are thankful for local fundraising opportunities like this that not only let us earn needed funds, but also learn about important issues such as environmental responsibility.”

In 2016, a local Girl Scout troop traveled to Europe for fifteen days, visiting England, France, Switzerland and Italy thanks to fundraising through the Ecomaniacs. Another group, the Drama Boosters of the Vermillion Community Theatre, will be sending the Vermillion High School Thespians to Edinburgh, Scotland this August where they will showcase their talents on the American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF) stage and go sightseeing across the United Kingdom.

“Positive change happens when people work together,” says Troy Lambert from the City of Sioux Falls and member of the Ecomaniacs Board of Directors, “We are very happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish with the help of our volunteers and supporters over the last five years and we look forward to the future as we continue educating the community on the importance of recycling.”

The group’s success would not have been possible without grants from the City of Sioux Falls, the South Dakota Discovery Center and the South Dakota DENR, as well as sponsors including The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, Millennium Recycling, Inc., SEAM, Inc., W. W. Grainger, Inc., and The Gas Stop.

To donate, volunteer or request services for your event, inquiries can be sent to .

Ecomaniacs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth and adults through education and a call to action to participate in an environmentally responsible community. The organization keeps community events clean, promotes recycling, and provides educational fundraising opportunities for local nonprofit groups. To find out more, visit us at .

Marissa Begley

Ecomaniacs |