How to Manage Waste During Events

UK is the land of festivals. From street parties to traditional events, we see a number of music festivals and events in the UK that encourages talented artists all over the globe to take part and grow their fanbase.

Planning Events

Planning such an event is a huge task and event organisers and venue managers carry the burden of ensuring festival goers and attendees have their waste requirements met and exceeded. Fun that it is for the audience, the real problem for the organisers is to manage the surplus amount waste effectively, hygienically and responsibly.

Waste Management at Events

Organising an event is a difficult, tedious and often stressful task that requires a lot of attention to detail. One of the most vital element being the waste management, not only for hygiene but for a positive guest experience.

Apart from the professional waste management service, many other contributors also have a role to play, including clients, performers, patrons, sponsors and associated contractors.

If you are thinking of planning an event and there are thousands of attendees expected, you most certainly will require a professional waste management company to sort out the waste produced, transport it to the right location and dispose it and recycle it sustainably.

Waste can be generated in many forms but waste generated by food at these events is something that should concern most event organisers.

How to start:

Create a waste management plan:

When you plan your event, make sure you develop a waste management strategy that involves roles and responsibilities of every volunteer. You can work by creating groups and assigning them tasks. A waste management plan is your best chance to meet your waste reduction goals.

Gain commitment:

Now that you have divided your team, make sure your team follows all the plans precicely. Proper waste management requires commitment.

Take help from your waste contractors:

Hiring an event waste contractor is the best solution to manage loads of rubbish. Not only will they’ll help you during the entire event, they’ll also make sure that waste is disposed of correctly, after or during the event itself.

Educate while marketing:

Spread awareness about waste management while you are marketing the event. Encourage your attendees to maintain a clean environment by making the most of the compostable bins and recycling containers.

Event waste management requires a lot of practical thought. You really need to consider the requirements of the people and take steps to facilitate their requirements accordingly.

It also requires a proper plan from the start to finish. Here are few things that you must keep in mind:

Avoid packaging

If you are transporting materials from one place to another, packing all of it is something to consider, minimise disposable elements and reuse containers where possible.

For the simple reason that unpacking it would generate a lot of waste and you’ll have to make enough room to store all the rubbish. At events, minimum packaging will help you reduce the waste significantly.

Using cups and containers that are biodegradable

Using recyclable cups at events

Using recyclable cups at events

Paper and disposable cups are great options to go for at events and parties. You can also utilise reusable, recyclable or compostable/ biodegradable food and beverage ware. These materials can be easily disposed off and don’t need to end up in a landfill.

Use different containers to safely store toxic waste

To safely store polluting substances, use sealed containers to avoid spilling of the toxic materials. Also, note that one requires a Spill Management Plan to carefully manage hazardous waste at an event.

Use Portaloo service

Portaloo Service

Portaloo Service

For more than 40 years, the Portaloo has been the easiest and most convenient ways to provide public WC facilities to people. They are portable, hygienic (if managed properly) and are an essential solution necessary for the success of most events.

Event waste equipment

Waste at events is usually collected in bins. They are easy to manage as they are made up of lightweight and superior quality plastic that is sturdy and carry a lot of waste in a single go. Wheelie bins can transport from 120 litres to 1,000 litres of waste (depending upon the size you hire). Wheelie bin contractors work with local authorities as well as organisers to carry and transport waste effectively.

Colour Coded Bins

Colour Coded Bins

Hire Skips for Huge events

However, if events involve thousands of attendees, it is advisable to hire skip services for easy waste disposal. Skip hire is a great technique to transport the waste to an isolated locations a roll-on-roll-off skip hire can contain tonnes of waste in a single container, similar to that of the size of a standard shipping container.

Since there are different ways to treat waste of different materials, pre-sorting helps in removing the bulky items from the rest of the waste and also helps to reduce costs. Depending upon the waste material, methods like shredding, screening or compaction are used for its initial treatment.

Place the bins at the right locations.

Make sure that you place bins at the entry/exit points of the food and beverages areas. Use bins of the right size so that they are in easy reach of children and people with disabilities. If you have organised a busy event, employ volunteers who keep a check on the segregated waste and empty bins frequently.

Label the garbage bins

It is important to provide plenty of highly visible and clearly labelled bins. You can assign different bins for a different types of waste.

For example, recycling materials like aluminium, glass, plastic and paper, use yellow bins of 240 litres with labelled lids. For biodegradable waste like food and liquid, you can label the bin accordingly. Labelling is an essential step in separating waste so that it can be treated properly.

Now that we have briefed you about how you can carry out waste managements at events, let’s analyze a huge event for a better picture and case study:

Glastonbury Festival Waste Management

The Glastonbury Festival is a 5 day festival near Pilton, Somerset that encourages contemporary arts – dance, music, comedy, theatre, circus and other events. Being the largest greenfield festival in the world, it is attended by 175,000 people around the globe.

The event requires extensive infrastructure in addition to security, transport, water supply and food.

The 2015 Glastonbury Festival

The 2015 Glastonbury Festival

The Details:

The event is held in the Worthy Farm in Glastonbury and has both positive and negative impacts on the environment. Any event with 175,000 attendees generates a huge amount of waste.

However, the authorities make sure that they offer the best service to reduce the amount of waste generated and send the maximum amount of recyclable waste to the depots.

The Recycling plan:

The government is taking a toll on the recycling plan and the authorities at the festival are working towards Recycling and Reusing maximum amount of waste. According to the analysis,

In 2014, 50% of the waste produced in the festival was recycled that included cans, glass, electronic equipment and much more. However, 2015 saw another growth in this percentage as 60% of the total waste generated was recycled by separating organic waste from the whole lot. By recycling 114 tonnes of composted organic waste, 400 tonnes of chipped wood, 23 tonnes of glass, 85 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tonnes of cardboard, 162 tonnes of scrap metal, 11.2 tonnes of clothing, tents, sleeping bags, 0.264 tonnes of batteries, 3 tonnes of dense plastic. 0.25 tonnes plastic sheets.

983 tonnes, the event recycled and diverted maximum waste from the landfill.

Waste Management at Glastonbury

Waste Management at Glastonbury

What else did they do?

They invested money into a local sewage plant. The festival’s sewage waste was processed within 8-mile radius of the site. This gave them an instant solution to manage organic waste.

With about 1200 Portaloos for the site they arranged the largest number of compost toilets for their attendees.

The market stall vendors at the festival used cutlery made from FSC-assured wood only. Moreover, the cups and cardboard were made up of compostable material or porcelain.

Since 2000, they have planted 10,000 native trees and hedge plants. They are working hard to protect the habitats like badger sets, ponds, streams, hedges, and ditches by creating nonpublic zones and nature reserves.


The community awareness on waste management issues is growing constantly, waste isn’t only the responsibility of venue managers and waste management companies.

It is necessary that people and performers at the event contribute their part equally and conserve resources like water and energy. Their contribution can reduce the overall impact of the event on the environment. Event organizers should make sure that their “Go Green” signals are followed by all people.

Creating and implementing recycling strategies at events actively promotes the environment-friendly behaviour onto the attendees. Hiring a waste management company is a great way to work towards a better environment.

Get connected with the best waste management professionals to manage events waste effectively.

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