Sustainability, Trash, Recycling Guide


A guide that goes through the various sustainability options for an event, as well as best practices for keeping your event clean from beginning to end.

  • Determining which options are available:  trash / recycling / composting
    • Looking into municipal and / or private options
    • Partnering with local non-profits or other groups that promote recycling and / or composting
  •    Putting together a plan and a team for keeping the grounds clean throughout the event
    • Hiring a dedicated “Green Crew” or trash removal company
      • Their main roles:
        • Setting up the bins
        • Emptying the bins when full and replacing the liners
        • Monitoring all bins and the dumpsters
        • Sweeping the grounds every night and picking up trash left over (some events require sweeping being done continuously throughout the day)
        • Removing the bins after the event
        • In some cases, taking the recycling and/or composting to the proper facility if there isn’t a better option image2
    • Mapping out where all waste removal bins will be on the site map as well as the dumpsters, taking into account ease of access, where the most traffic will be, and the look / feel of the event (i.e., you don’t want your dumpsters next to your front gates).
    • If there is going to be inclement weather, ensure there’s a plan to keep the bins properly upright; utilizing a cinder block inside a 55 gallon bin, for example.
    • Ensuring you have the proper size of roll off dumpsters and have them emptied enough – often a daily pickup overnight works for most events
    • Ensuring all of the waste the event generates that should be diverted (i.e., utensils, napkins, cups) can all be disposed of via recycling or composting by nature of what it’s made from
  • Working to help meet any specific goals the city, park, or event may have in terms of diverted waste rates
    • Ensuring you are following any local / state laws on proper trash removal
    • Other stakeholders may already have signage, special bins, and/or other infrastructure to help out with recycling / composting.
  • Working with marketing to push out the sustainability initiatives to the guests
    • Consider offering incentives for guests to pick up trash / recycling (show examples) – people turning in a full bag, for example, will receive a gift card / enter in a drawing for free passes next year/ get a mention online.
    • Make sure all of the proper verbiage and signage is in place so every one knows how and where to properly dispose of items they can divert from landfills
    • trash optionsRecycling, Trash, and Compost Options at a previous SXSW Event