How to design your event waste management plan like a pro.

The average music festival produces over 23,500 tons of waste.

As an event planner, it’s easy to focus on the more fun details of event management like venues, decor, and promotional activities. Yet, as that number implies, waste management is an incredibly large part of the job.

Once the event is over, where is all that trash going to go? Often times it’s up to you.

Dealing with all that trash can seem overwhelming. That’s why it’s essential that a waste management event coordinator comes up with a detailed plan in advance to keep everything running smoothly.

If you’re ready to take event management to the next level and want to learn how to create an event waste management plan like a pro, read on.

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Clear bin labeling.

One of the most important aspects of a waste management plan is making sure your event attendees know how to dispose of their trash in the first place.

Most events utilize a variety of bins including recycling and trash bins. You’ll want to make sure that each of these bins is boldly labeled so attendees can easily see which trash can is for which. Color coding can help make it easy to tell the difference.

For people new to recycling or who don’t entirely understand what materials can be recycled, it’s a good idea to be explicit about which items can be. You can do this by adding a list of recyclable and non-recyclable items on the bins themselves or on a sign next to them.

When in doubt, always be as direct and informative as possible.

Providing clear labeling will prevent issues with disposing of your trash later on.

Make garbage bins easy to locate.

Any good event planner knows that the location of waste bins are everything.

If you’re walking through an event and can’t see a garbage can around, what are you going to do? Most people don’t want to interrupt their fun by looking and don’t want to hold on to it, so they just drop it on the ground.

To prevent excessive littering, garbage cans should be spaced evenly and frequently throughout the event. A good rule of thumb is to have one within 50 feet at all times.

You can also minimize waste by placing them where they’re most often needed by vendors, restrooms, and exits.

You should create a map of where bins will be located in advance so you know how many will be needed in total. It’s a good idea to communicate with the venue about whether they will be providing any, and if so, how many.

It’s also important that anywhere a garbage bin is located throughout the event, all of the types of bins being used are present. If you only have a recycling bin in that spot, for example, then people will likely throw their unrecyclable trash into the bin regardless of your labels.

Making garbage bins easily available to attendees will make waste pickup easier on staff later on and will keep the event looking nice throughout its duration.

Consider using garbage bin monitors.

A pro tip for event waste management is to invest in garbage bin monitors, especially for large or multiple day events.

Garbage bin monitors are placed inside of the bins to sense what is being placed in the bin at any given time.

This means they can tell you when bins are almost full, and they can detect when certain materials are placed in the wrong type of bin. Some even track when bins are emptied, so you can make sure that the people you hire to do this job are actually doing it.

Investing in these waste bin sensors will prevent unsightly overflow and will make material-sorting easy. While bin labeling and placement help, someone is always bound to use the wrong trash can.

Make garbage bin collection easy.

Once you know what bins you’re using, how many you’re using, and how to label them, it’s time to decide how the waste itself will be disposed of.

The best thing you can do is make garbage bin collection easier on yourself or whoever is doing it.

Start by deciding on the collection point. This will be where you take the bins to be emptied – usually where your main dumpsters are located.

Then, look for the most simplified collection route that a garbage bin collector can take. This route should pass all of the bins on the way to the dumpster.

Planning this in advance will prevent any bins from being forgotten about and will save time.

Establish an organics bin for food vendors.

If the event you’re planning is environmentally friendly, then you’ll want to consider incorporating an organics bin.

An organics bin is one that’s used for biodegradable food waste and compostable items.

If your event has food vendors, consider having at least one organics bin for their use. If your event is large enough, you can incorporate many organics bins to place with your trash and recycling bins.

Reduce water bottle waste.

One of the easiest ways to make managing waste simpler is to lessen the amount of waste there is in the first place.

The worst culprit at events, especially festivals, is plastic water bottles. Everyone needs water, and they add up quickly.

You can easily get rid of water bottle waste by allowing attendees to bring their own reusable bottles and having some for sale. Just ensure that the event has water stations or fountains available.

Plan ahead to prevent excess waste.

In addition to getting rid of water bottles, there are several other types of waste you can prevent from adding up. The key is to plan ahead. An event waste management plan example might accomplish this by providing digital entry tickets instead of paper ones. You can also create a mobile website or app that maps out the event and provides all event details so attendees don’t require physical flyers or brochures. A huge producer of waste at events is food items. Consider hiring vendors with more finger food options and condiment pump bottles over individual packets.

If drinking beer is big at the event, allow customers to purchase refills instead of wasting more cans or cups. This is especially handy at music festivals.

Choose an appropriate dumpster service.

A waste management event coordinator can be ruined or saved by the right dumpster service.

The key is to pick a service that is reliable, can provide enough dumpsters, and has the type of dumpsters you need.

When choosing a dumpster rental service, look at their ability to deliver, offer returns, and be adaptable. Also, look at whether the dumpsters have locks and wheels for easy moving. Mobile Skips offers all of the above.

Inform everyone involved.

Every planner knows that communication is key. This is the same with an event waste management plan.

To ensure that you’re plan runs smoothly, be sure to inform everyone involved about any banned materials, where bins are located, and what goes into each bin type. This includes security, vendors, staff, and volunteers.

Making sure everyone is on the same page will help in the case that an attendee has a question.

Keep track of contacts and responsibilities.

Venue staff, volunteers, bin-providers, and waste collection companies should all be aware of their exact roles, timelines, and sanitary measures.

Be sure to find out if any of these workers will need any equipment or action from you in advance. You don’t want to have volunteers picking up litter with their bare hands, for example.

Event waste management pros also keep a detailed record of contact information for everyone involved in case someone needs to be reached.

Determine if any waste items are banned.

Whether your event aims to be eco-friendly or not, it just so happens that eco-friendly waste management practices offer benefits for everyone involved. These include saving money, easier waste management, and encouraging eco-friendly attendees and investors.

You can achieve all of the above by banning certain items from styrofoam to cigarettes.

You’ll want to discuss banning waste materials with event stakeholders in advance and make sure it’s mentioned on marketing materials.

Have an end of event plan.

Whether your event aims to be eco-friendly or not, it just so happens that eco-friendly waste management practices offer benefits for everyone involved. These include saving money, easier waste management, and encouraging eco-friendly attendees and investors.

You can achieve all of the above by banning certain items from styrofoam to cigarettes.

You’ll want to discuss banning waste materials with event stakeholders in advance and make sure it’s mentioned on marketing materials.

Design your event waste management plan like a pro.

Event waste management is just as important to event planning as any other aspect. Large events especially make cleaning up a challenge.

Fortunately, there are several tactics you can use to lessen the waste at your events and make waste collection more efficient.

At the end of each event, be sure to reflect on how to make your waste management go smoother the next time around.

If you’re planning an event and need the best dumpster services around, contact us today.

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