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As our social calendars can attest, events are back in a big way! From festivals and fairs to tradeshows and conferences, gatherings are back ON. It’s time to dust off our event management skills (and frankly our social skills) so that we can gather safely and successfully. 

To this end, this is our Expert’s Guide to Waste Management for Events. We’ve filled it with tips and advice from our in-house experts that event planners can use to plan their waste management needs for special events.

Why bother with a waste management plan for events?

While perhaps one of the less glamorous aspects of event planning, waste management is not to be overlooked. Wherever people are involved, waste is sure to follow. And naturally, we’re talking about all types of manmade waste: garbage, recycling, and leftover food scraps, as well as the other organic waste matter that humans produce.

From garbage bins to portapotties, your event needs to have waste management covered otherwise your event venue could become a wasteland in a mere matter of hours.

Having a waste management plan ahead of time ensures your successful soirée does not become a sad cesspool. It also helps make post-event cleanup a breeze.

Plan ahead and avoid the messy consequences

The sooner you can start assessing your event’s waste management needs the better. Connect with local event waste management companies, like Local Environmental in Edmonton, Regina, and Whitecourt, to see what they have to offer.

Ideally, your town or city will have a one-stop-shop that can assist with several aspects of waste management for your event. For example, Local Environmental offers Temporary Fencing, Portable Toilets/Portapotties, and Bin Rentals.

Having a waste management company that is experienced with large event planning is a real lifesaver and can help take a lot of the guesswork out of waste management for special events.

Celebrations of Holi Festival with colours and happiness shown by the Indian Woman with her hands and face with colours of Joy

Event waste management plan checklist

Use the checklist below as a guide for your event waste management plan:

  1. What waste types will be generated during the event?
    1. Will there be food preparation waste such as cooking oil?
    2. What options should be provided for recycling and/or composting?
    3. What waste minimization strategies can be implemented?


  1. How many attendees and organizers will be at the event?
    1. Consider bin placement for both guests and back-of-house event staff
    2. What size and how many bins are required for the event? Note: An experienced event waste management company should be able to help you determine the size and number of bins based on the scale of the event. 


  1. Where should bins/portable toilets be placed?
    1. Bin locations will need to be easy and convenient for attendees to find and use but also somewhat inconspicuous 
    2. Bins will also need to be accessible for emptying and collection
    3. Map out a typical flow of attendees throughout the venue and identify logical locations for waste receptacles
    4. Where possible, ensure different bin options (garbage, recycling, compost) are positioned together so that attendees can choose the appropriate bin for their waste


  1. When do bins/portable toilets need to be in place and when do they need to be collected?
    1. When determining the timing of waste management setup, think beyond the event dates and consider the waste needs of onsite event organizers who will be doing both event setup and takedown
    2. For multi-day events, how frequently do bins need to be emptied?
    3. Can your waste management company accommodate ad hoc pickups if necessary?


  1. What sorts of waste-related signage and communications are required?
    1. Good signage and directions ensure that people can use waste facilities appropriately
    2. Who can people contact if there are waste issues on-site?


  1. How will waste management efforts be managed and evaluated?
    1. Who will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining waste bins and porta potties?
    2. What is the escalation plan if there are any issues?
    3. As part of the post-event debrief, how will you evaluate the effectiveness of your event waste management plan and document changes for future events?

As we move towards re-normalizing large-scale events once again, don’t let mismanaged event waste come between your guests and a good time. These tips and guidelines are a great way to help manage waste management at your outdoor event or other special events.  

Interested in Local Environmental’s Event Waste Management Services? Request a free quote and we’ll call you back on the same day. We’ve got your event waste management needs covered.