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Recycling at Community Events

Tips and Resources

Setting Up Recycling and Waste Management at Community Events

Tips for setting up the recycling and garbage collection

  • Set-up recycling containers and stations the day before the event, if 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. Ideally, staff all recycling stations at all times. If this is not possible, assign a “floater” to check each area periodically.
  • If required, designate a central collection area for garbage and recycling, where roll-off bins and drop-off boxes are 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).
  • Use both graphics (eg. pictograms) and words on signs to communicate, especially with non-English speakers.

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/waste & litter prevention message into all event materials and press 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. Use walkie-talkies to communicate with the recycling coordinator, key volunteers and event organizers at large events.

Recycling Depot - convenient drop off of recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard, mixed containers.
Return-It Depot - refund beverage bottles and cans to receive deposit money back
Recycling Council of BC - 604-732-9253 

PDF Document Bottles & Cans printable label (11" x 17")
PDF Document Cardboard printable label (11" x 17")
PDF Document Food Scraps printable label (11" x 17")
PDF Document Paper Products printable label (11" x 17")
PDF Document Garbage printable label (11" x 17")