Recycling at Community Events

The City requires recycling and waste management at all events. Event organizers are responsible for making arrangements to ensure there is sufficient recycling and garbage bins and that the site is kept litter free. This page outlines event organizer's responsibilities for recycling and waste management, discuss convenient resources and services available from the City, as well as other useful tips and resources.

Making Your Event More Sustainable: Waste Diversion & Recycling

Event Recycling and Waste Management

Event organizers have responsibilities relating to recycling and garbage when holding an event on City owned or managed property. They are responsible for providing adequate facilities to collect recycling and garbage, litter pick-up, and disposal of garbage and recyclables appropriately after the event.

  • Create a Recycling and Waste Management Plan as part of the event application approval process.
    Recycling & Waste Management Plan Worksheet
  • Provide an adequate number of containers for the recycling of materials banned from disposal in regular garbage.
  • Provide an adequate number of containers for garbage disposal. It is important to consider the number of people attending the event, the size of the venue and the types of potential recycling.
  • Provide one recycling station for every 500 attendees with a minimum of one garbage cart per station.
  • If you wish to use services provided by the City, view the Rentals and Services Application Form for more information.
    Rentals & Services Application Form
  • Make arrangements for removal and proper disposal of garbage and recyclables collected.
  • Make arrangements for litter collection.
  • Minimize waste at events by working together with event/venue staff, volunteers and vendors

Setting Up Recycling at Community Events

Tips for setting up the recycling and garbage collection

  • Set-up recycling containers and stations the day before the event, when possible.
  • Make it convenient for event attendees to recycle by placing the recycling stations at locations where the maximum amount of waste and recyclable materials can be captured:
    • near entrances and exits;
    • where food is consumed (not necessarily purchased);
    • walkways and high traffic areas;
    • parking lot; and
    • near washrooms other garbage areas.
  • Distance between recycling stations placement should not exceed 12 metres or 36 feet. Research indicates that people will use bins that are conveniently located and are only willing to walk less than 12 metres to dispose of their garbage.
  • Keep the recycling areas neat and clean.
  • Recruit volunteers to manage the bins to ensure that waste and recyclables are properly disposed of.
  • Depending on the size of the event, designate a central collection area for garbage and recycling, where roll-off bins and drop-off boxes can be located.

Tips for Signage

  • Label recycling and garbage containers with clear, large signs, ideally with simple words and pictures/graphics to illustrate what goes into each bin. Signage should be placed at eye level. If feasible, attach a physical example of the types of materials being used at the event to the appropriate container to recycle/dispose it in.
  • Put a sign or label on each side of the bin.
  • Use big banners above the recycling bins to make sure that their location can be seen from a distance.
  • Use coloured signs to differentiate the different waste commodities (blue for recycling, black for garbage, yellow for paper).

Tips for Promotion and Education

  • Promote recycling/waste prevention using signs or banners at entrances and registration areas, signs on garbage and recycling containers, statements in programs, and public address announcements.
  • Integrate the recycling& litter prevention message into event materials and news releases.
  • Schedule volunteers to monitor the recycling stations and direct people to place their garbage and recyclables in the right containers.
  • Recycling volunteers should be easy to identify, e.g. by a hat, vest, T-shirt, etc.

Printable Labels

Helpful Links & Resources

Rentals and Services Application Form Return-It Depot Metro Vancouver - Materials Banned from the Landfill Recycling Council of BC - 604-732-9253