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Set up your event recycling equipment

How to set up recycling at your event to maximize collection

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Tips for container placement

A pole with two signs on it. Under it there are two recycling containers and two garbage boxes.
Banner signs on pole increase visibility of recycling stations at the Rose Festival.

Make recycling at your event a success! Maximize collection and reduce contamination of recyclables with strategic placement of signs and receptacles. When garbage ends up in recycling containers, the whole bag is considered contaminated and becomes garbage.

  • Use the buddy system — place recycling/composting and trash receptacles together.
  • Limit the number of recycling/waste stations to allow for ease of monitoring. Place larger stations in areas where high volumes of waste will be generated.
  • Make recycling stations highly visible, (e.g. a flag on a tall pole, balloons, signs, etc.) and in convenient locations, like areas where people buy and eat food.
  • Label recycling and garbage containers with clear, large and simple wording and place signage at eye level. If feasible, attach a physical sample of the acceptable material to its container.
  • Use clear plastic bags as liners for recycling containers for easy identification and removal of contaminants. Use black bags with garbage containers.
  • Place a few empty plastic bottles and cans in the containers at the beginning of the event to serve as a visual aid.
  • Staff all recycling stations at all times. If this is not possible, then assign someone to check each area periodically.

Recycling container assembly instructions

The City loans Clearstream recycling containers. Each container requires a minimum 35-40 gallon bag (approximate
dimensions 40"x48"). We suggest using clear bags for recycling and black bags for non-recyclables.

  1. Set up frame with round slots up.
  2. Pull bag through slot and fold edge back over frame. Repeat with other side.
  3. Tug on center edges of bag between frame to secure.
  4. Place blue lid over frame.
  5. The container is ready for recycling!
Three images side by side, with a person feeding a clear plastic bag through a metal slot

Communicate with vendors and exhibitors

  1. Notify vendors and exhibitors of your garbage, recycling and compost collection setup.
  2. Provide clear instructions on how to recycle at the event and the contact details for the event recycling team coordinator if they have questions.
  3. Be sure all food vendors know the proper procedures for recycling their materials, such as rinsing food out of containers, flattening cardboard boxes, etc.

How to promote recycling/waste reduction at your event

  • Include information about your recycling efforts in press releases, event programs, marketing and advertising materials.
  • Hang banners or signs on garbage and recycling receptacles.

Event wrap up

After the event, it is helpful to determine your success rate by looking at the amounts of waste diverted from the landfill.
Knowing this can help build the case for your sustainability efforts at the event, and educate organizers and attendees
about the event's goals.

Calculate your diversion rate by using the following formula:

Diversion rate = Amount recycled ÷ (Amount recycled + Amount disposed)