SYRACUSE, NY — With just about a week until the opening of The Great New York State Fair, people are guessing what the 800 pounds of butter will become, as construction of one of the most beloved attractions gets underway – the 53rd Annual American Dairy Association North East Butter Sculpture, sponsored by Wegmans.
Sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton unpacked the butter and their tools and began work on the sculpture over the weekend. The butter, produced from over two-thousand gallons of milk, came from Batavia, N.Y.-based producer O-AT-KA Milk Products.
The butter used for the sculpture is called “scrap” butter, which is butter from damaged packaging or similar circumstances that make it unsuitable for sale and consumption. So, instead of throwing it away, sculptors create a beautiful piece of art that thousands enjoy each year.
Even after the Fair, the butter doesn’t go to waste, instead, it gets recycled into renewable energy. The butter will be sent to Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion, N.Y., where it goes into a digester along with other food waste from Wegmans stores and local Universities. The digester then breaks down the material and creates about 450 kilowatts of electricity, which is enough to power about 350 homes for a year. On a weekly basis, Noblehurst is responsible for diverting 100 tons of food waste from local landfills.