Greening President Obama’s Inauguration - Antioch University New England Alum in Charge

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Antioch University New England alumnus David Mayer oversaw recycling, composting and trash disposal operations for President Barack Obama's Inauguration.

President Barack Obama’s inauguration was a whole lot greener than past inaugurations, thanks to David Mayer, MS ’10, a graduate of Antioch University New England, and his colleagues at Pritchard Sports and Entertainment Group.

Mayer, director of business development and sustainability for Pritchard, was in charge of “cleaning and greening” — recycling and composting— the event. That meant planning and disposing of every single candy wrapper, coffee cup, apple core, and shrimp cocktail remnant left by 600,000 to 800,000 people.

Mayer was the salesman who marketed Pritchard’s cleaning service to C3 Presents, the promotion company which organized the presidential inauguration. He worked with the Presidential Inaugural Committee on a strategy that entailed overseeing everything involved in collecting all trash, recycling, and compost — right down to the manure from 164 horses on the parade route, and at the Jan.19 Day of Service Celebration, a huge party for military personnel on the National Mall.

It meant mapping out locations for all the waste stations, which included compost and recycling bins and trash receptacles, and coordinating volunteers to work at each station. The top priority, of course, was security. “Safety of the President is first,” Mayer said. “We have to use all translucent bags so any potential hazard can be seen. We can’t use certain garbage containers on the parade route or near the President, due to bomb issues. We have to get our employees cleared by the Secret Service to work.”

Mayer’s Pritchard clients include big names in sports as well as large concerts and music festivals like Lollapalooza. In fact, Mayer’s company got the inauguration gig because he did such a good job with the 2011 and 2012 Lollapaloozas for C3 Presents. In 2010, Lollapalooza only diverted 27 percent of its waste and composted nothing, while other similar-sized festivals were doing much better, Mayer said. The next year, Pritchard more than doubled Lollapalooza’s diversion rate, to 60 percent, and helped it compost more than 30,000 pounds of organic matter.

About Antioch University New England (AUNE)
Antioch University New England offers highly respected doctoral, master’s, and certificate programs in education, environmental studies, management, and psychology. Located in Keene, New Hampshire, this unique institution serves approximately one thousand students each year. Our graduates have gone on to be leaders of positive change, working toward a more just and sustainable society. Founded in 1964, Antioch University New England is the oldest of Antioch University’s graduate campuses. Learn more at:

About Antioch University
Inspired by the work of pioneering educator Horace Mann, Antioch University, a private, non-profit, 501(c) 3 institution, provides learner-centered education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. With campuses in Keene, New Hampshire, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, and Yellow Springs, Ohio, Antioch University is a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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