Key Sanitation sweeps up the fair

By Clare Pugh, Round Table Feature Editor

As thousands enter The Great Frederick Fair this week, they flock to vendors; finishing their meals, they toss their used plates into one of the 500 trash cans provided by Key Sanitation of Frederick. Without this organization, the fair would be a wasteland of garbage.

From sunrise to sunset, 16 workers under the supervision of Kenny Shoemaker, a Frederick County native, strive to make this local fair a clean and pleasant environment for all.

Shoemaker said that “on a daily basis, around 12 tons a day” of garbage is collected from the trash cans spread throughout the fairgrounds – approximately 108 tons of waste during the span of the nine-day fair.

In preparation for The Great Frederick Fair, Key Sanitation readies its workers and prepares strategies for the week to come. “We start about four days before the fair opens, setting everything up and getting everything ready,” said Shoemaker.

Once the fair begins, Key Sanitation and its workers set out for three hours to start the morning round of trash and garbage pickup. This allows them to continue their cycle regularly throughout the rest of the day, doing nonstop trash pickups and cleaning up the fairgrounds.

Throughout the fair, a new objective of having a “green fair” has been strived for, evidenced by the 550 recycling bins posted all over the grounds.

Shoemaker said that Key Sanitation is supporting this environmentally friendly mindset by using single-stream recycling.

Single-stream recycling is a process used by garbage companies that allows them to mix all recyclable materials instead of sorting materials by different types. Key Sanitation is one of the 248 operating garbage companies that use this process for recycling. It has both reduced the number of workers injured as well as the price of garbage truck operation.

Other than The Great Frederick Fair, Key Sanitation also collects garbage for several other Frederick County events, such as the Maryland State Fair, Montgomery County Fair and Colorfest in Thurmont.

Shoemaker, without hesitation, said “the Frederick Fair, of course” is his favorite event to supervise for Key Sanitation. Without the dedication of a garbage collection company like Key Sanitation, such a grand event as The Great Frederick Fair would have piles of trash instead of  piles of hay and endless funnel cakes.