Photo of Bill Finzel

If you ever threw a plastic bottle in the wrong receptacle at Comfest, you may have encountered our zero waste hero, Bill Finzel. The most memorable vision a festival-goer may remember from Comfests past would be Finzel’s head popping up out of a dumpster as he retrieved some wayward recyclable materials.    

  “Bill has been an active proponent of recycling since the early 70s. He made recycling at events mainstream,” Greg Maynard said of his friend and fellow Comfest volunteer. It is true enough, as Comfest was certainly one of the first, if not the actual FIRST, festival in the city to have recycling containers on the grounds.

  Finzel has been involved with Comfest since the beginning, mostly heading up the clean-up and recycling efforts through the years. He championed the promotion of the “no glass” movement at the festival. More recently, Finzel has taken on First Aid at Comfest as one of his major duties, and some of the plumbing and site preparation. No matter what, he will be at every Comfest event, meeting, and all-day every day during the weekend festival. Actually, the same goes for the Hot Times in Olde Towne Festival on the Near East side every September. I do not recommend trying to get together with Finzel between June and the end of September because he is very busy and very tired.
  As activist and volunteer, Finzel has a varied and very long history, including being a Free Press Board member, Treasurer, delivery person, and subscription mailing helper. He attends Community Shares of Mid-Ohio meetings on behalf of The Free Press. In the 90s, he was part of the Columbus, Ohio-Copapayo, El Salvador Sister City Project. Also at various times he was treasurer for Bill Buckel’s Columbus School Board campaigns, worked at Northend Recycling, and with Friends of Goodale.
  Finzel and Maynard also volunteered for many years for the Martha Walker Garden Club. Finzel ran the crew that cleaned up vacant lots and vacant houses, helped maintain city parks in the short north, and engaged in guerrilla gardening.
  The Free Press honors Bill Finzel for the fun, cheerful and easy-going ambiance he exudes and his ego-less contributions to the activist community. Freep staffers enjoy matching wits with him in deep, intellectual, political, and philosophical discussions. We appreciate his encyclopedic grasp of history as well as his humor. We believe in Bill Finzel and the wise words once written on the Short North Tavern men’s bathroom wall: “We all live in a Finzel monologue.” 

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