What is Wakarusa?

The word “Wakarusa” is a Native American term meaning "ass-deep". In and around the Lawrence Kansas area, it refers to the Wakarusa River, which is the primary stream that feeds Clinton Lake, the home of the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. Oddly enough, the river's average water depth is about "ass-deep".

The Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival is a 4-day foot-stomping party in the heart of the Midwest. Born in 2004, Wakarusa burst onto the scene with a diverse and eclectic lineup featuring over 70 artists. The 2004 bill perked the interest of both devout and casual music fans alike. Fans that made the trip to Wakarusa left with unforgettable stories of the music and the beautiful surroundings of Clinton Lake and the Lawrence area. In 2005, Wakarusa returned and quickly established itself as a premiere, grassroots event in the nationwide outdoor music scene. Attracting folks from all 50 U.S. states and 5 countries, the 2005 event featured over 80 artist, 5 stages and over 4 days of non-stop music and entertainment.

One fateful night at a party in Lawrence, Rylan (SEA President) happened to meet and befriend one of the creators of Wakarusa. He asked about recycling at Wakarusa and specifically, if SEA could create a program for the festival, and the rest is history...

Wakarusa 2006 will bring over 60 bands playing 100+ sets of music on 6 stages. Check out the list the bands. This year there will be an attendance cap at 15,000 to preserve the vibe, so get your tickets now!

Check out the Ten Indian Commandments!

  1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect
  2. Remain close to the Great Spirit
  3. Show great respect for your fellow beings
  4. Work together for the benefit of all Mankind
  5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed
  6. Do what you know to be right
  7. Look after the well-being of mind and body
  8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
  9. Be truthful and honest at all times
  10. Take full responsibility for your actions


SEA officially provided a pilot program for recycling at the Wakarusa music festival in 2005!

Check out our page on the Wakarusa site!

30 student volunteers, 6 months of planning, 80 custom barrel covers, 4 days of music, 50,000 people, 3 tons of recycling, and countless memories later…

Wakarusa did not have a recycling program in 2004 so we developed one for the festival in 2005, and it was a great success! Dubbed Recycalusa we created a pilot recycling program for the festival. Due to the success of the pilot program, Wakarusa has asked us back to head up the recycling in 2006.

In 2005 we recycled approximately 4800 pounds of glass, 500 pounds of aluminum, 300 pounds of plastic, and 150 pounds of cardboard totaling approximately 3 tons. The festival itself produced 18 tons of total waste (including recycling), meaning we diverted 17%. While this may seem like a small amount, we actually did just as well as Clean Vibes who averages about the same.

Recycalusa 2006

This year is the second coming of the Wakarusa recycling program called Recycalusa (ree-sike-ah-loo-suh). It feels good to be a veteran program, and we of Recycalusa are super stoked to be back again!

We all must remember that before and after Wakarusa, this land is home to wildlife and Clinton State Park . We must be good stewards of the park and its land, and each year we will grow responsibly with the continued growth of the festival. After all, Wakarusa is the festival where “Music Meets Mother Nature.”

Plan of Action

Upon arrival to the festival, you will be given 2 large plastic bags for your disposal. The green bag will be for recycling in which we are accepting:

-Aluminum: cans and cooking foil

-Steel: “tin” cans and bottle caps

-Plastic: #1 and #2

-Glass: clear, brown, blue/green

-Cardboard (please keep dry)

The clear bag will be for trash that cannot be diverted to recycling. Throughout the campgrounds, there will be centralized drop-off sites for you to place your full bags of recycling and/or trash for quick and easy pick-up by our volunteers. Just look for the signs!

During the festival, we will provide 3 recycling barrels that will be placed alongside most of the trash barrels dispersed throughout the park. The barrel tops are color coded for your convenience: red for aluminum, blue for plastic #1 and #2, and yellow for all colors of glass . Please use these barrels properly to ensure efficiency of sorting the recyclables. By doing this, you will tremendously increase the amount of waste that can be diverted.

At the end of the festival, the good stewards of Wakarusa will need to return the land back to Clinton State Park . Please help out by bagging up your recyclables, trash and unwanted items in your campsite into their respective bags. And as the saying goes:

“Leave your area cleaner than when you arrived”. This can easily be accomplished by policing your campsite (and your neighbors!) for small overlooked items you may have left behind. When your campsite is neat and tidy and your bags are ready to go, please leave your bags at the side of the road or at the drop-off sites for speedy and efficient curbside pick-up.

Our booth

If you need more bags, have environmental questions, or just want cool FREE STUFF , then stop by our booth located _ _____ between the hours of 9:00 and 5:00 . This year we are repeating our successful and popular recycling exchange program. It's so simple! Just bring us a full bag of recycling and sort it at the booth or a full bag of pre-sorted material (i.e. a bag of just aluminum cans) and you'll get cool merchandise in return! We'll have Wakarusa merchandise, Recycalusa t-shirts, and lots of other random yet awesome stuff to give away. Another option is that you can trade your full bag of recycling for a raffle ticket eligible to win a free Fat Tire Cruiser !

Grassroots Activism

The most important way you can help keep the park clean is by grassroots activism. Wakarusa is a grassroots based festival that is determined to give you -the fans- the best festival possible at the least price. Likewise, Recycalusa is committed to giving you the best recycling experience ever. However, we all have to remember that the festival is as clean as we make it to be. Most importantly, we need your help in spreading the word. Lead by example and use the barrels properly. Tell your friends and your camping neighbors to help keep the park clean. Inform them about our booth and curbside pick-up program. With your help and the help of others, we can make this the cleanest and greenest festival on Earth.

Our Goal

Last year we diverted approximately 3 tons of glass, aluminum, plastic, and cardboard. The festival itself produced 18 tons of total waste (including recycling), meaning we diverted 17%.

This year we have doubled our recycling crew. Therefore, we hope to at least double the amount that we recycle.

Who we are

Recycalusa was piloted by the group Students for Environmental Action (SEA) from Kansas State University . SEA is committed to ensuring a healthy, natural environment and conserving the ecological community at Kansas State University , the City of Manhattan , and surrounding regions.

This year, we are working with our sister group the Environs from the University of Kansas to operate Recycalusa 2006. We won't allow deep-rooted school rivalry to keep us from saving our one and only planet. Red and blue bleeds purple power!

Our Recyclers

With the support and services of Bo Killough from 12 th and Haskell Recycling for the second year in a row, Wakarusa's recyclables will be diverted from festering landfills. We would like to thank Bo for volunteering his time and services for the improvement of the Wakarusa community, the State of Kansas and the planet.


We learned much in our preliminary attempt and hope to only improve for 2006. Let SEA know if you want to know more, get involved, or have any suggestions or comments: President Becky,, Webmaster Mike,, or


How many Bananas have you eaten in a week? An SEA member once ate 28 to break his record of 24!

© Copyright 2005 K-State

Clean Vibes is a company formed and dedicated to the responsible waste management of outdoor festivals and events.

Go check it out to see a model for what we are aiming for!

Check out one Wakarusa vendor, New Belgium, to see what they're doing to be more sustainable!

New Belgium Brewing is probably one of the most sustainable companies on the planet. This year they are donating a Fat Tire Cruiser to Recycalusa that we will raffle off!

Wakarusa is trying to use all sustainable energy sources this year! Click on the picture to see what you can do to help out!

2005 Recycalusa Sponsers

  • Sisters of Sound
  • Hibachi Hut
  • Auntie Mae's Parlor
  • On the Wildside
  • Pat's Blue Rib'n BarBeQue
  • RockABelly Bar & Deli
  • The Dusty Bookshelf
  • Threads
  • Lawrence Waste Reduction & Recycling
  • Ballard's Sporting Goods
  • Guitar Source
  • Acme Gift
  • The Home Depot
  • Bluestem Bistro
  • Pita Pit
  • Planet Sub/Yellow Sub
  • Molly McGee
  • 75th St. Brewery
  • KC Masterpiece
  • Mercado Grocery
  • Set-em Up Jack's Bar & Grill