Event Recycling

7 Steps to make your next event “green” and sustainable!

                                              Your goal:     reduce waste + recycle more


  • Name a “Recycling Coordinator” or put together a “green team” . . . a  group of folks who are most interested in promoting recycling and waste prevention .  Let your garbage company know about your event & your plans.


  • Let everyone know, especially participants, that you are planning a more “green” event
  • Integrate the recycling/waste prevention message into your event materials & publicity
  • Inform everyone involved about the opportunities to recycle on-site
  • Have all registration be electronic, no paper-based registrations or informational materials
  • Use recycled content materials for your awards or medals
  • Power your event with “green power” if available through your utility


  • Help vendors and exhibitors save money. Suggest ways to minimize packaging, minimize waste.
  • Let vendors and exhibitors know about your plans to recycle and how they can participate
  • Require “leave no trace”…pack it in, pack it out.  You can have a “green” or “environmental” deposit to ensure that each vendor’s area is left clean
  • Set up a recycling area conveniently located for the vendors and exhibitors


  • Review what materials can be collected for recycling in your community.  Will any of these materials be generated at your event?  Here’s a chance to get them out of the garbage & into the recycling bins.
    • What can you use for recycling receptacles, how can you get them, use clear bags
    • Where should you  put receptacles (“buddy system” by garbage cans)
    • Make recycling stations visible and easy to use
    • Use good signage to help people recycle correctly
    • Monitor receptacles during the event and sort out trash throughout the day
    • Who will be responsible for collection and turning in recyclables
  • Help create demand for recycled content and less toxic products.  Buy recycled paper for all your printing needs and use soy-based inks.   Buy supplies with recycled content, such as cups and napkins, or with low environmental impacts, such as non-toxic cleaners


  • Plan ahead to reduce the amount of waste generated at your event
  • THINK…what actions will generate the least amount of waste?  Less waste means less garbage means less mess!
    • Minimize containers, minimize or eliminate packaging (wraps, bags, boxes, lids, straws)
    • You and your vendors can save money!
    • Use bulk condiments & buffet style serving, minimize pre-wrapped/pre-packaged items
    • Encourage the sale of “no packaging required” food items that can be served on a napkin or in their own edible container such as a cone, bun, or tortilla. 
    • Fewer “one-time-use” disposable products,  use baskets with liners, or durable goods and wash them
  • Use refillable containers such as pitchers or punchbowls rather than single-serve containers
  • Give or sell a refillable souvenir cup/bottle  that is the only way to buy beverages on –site, do not allow disposable cups or bottles to be sold by vendors
  • Use decorations that can be re-used or given away, such as live plants or bowls of fruit


  • Plan to donate leftover food to a local food bank, gleaners, Pioneer Potlatch, community meals
  • Consider composting food scraps (organics)
    • Are there any small farmers (or big gardeners!) in your area who could compost food scraps, coffee grounds and paper contaminated with food residue
    • Are there any small livestock producers who could utilize food scraps
  • Encourage vendors to use local, seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible.  Provide vegetarian/vegan food options if possible.
  • Consider offering only PLA (corn-based) or other type of biodegradable cups, plates, cutlery, napkins and set up a return system with the product supplier for composting


  1. SITE
  • Try to choose a site that minimizes the amount of driving people have to do to get there.  Is the site accessible by walking or riding a bike?  Reward people who arrive in carpools or by shuttle bus or public transit
  • Ask about each site’s environmental practices such as pest control, water usage, green building practices, and recycling activities
  • Use environmentally friendly portable bathrooms with bio-degradable solution and recycled toilet paper
  • Have a Community Clean-Up for the site before and after the event

Managing My Materials


Upcoming Events

2018 Household and Small Business
Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule


Hood River
February 23, 9am-2pm
May 18, 9am-2pm

The Dalles
February 24 18, 9am-2pm
May 19, 9am-2pm

April 14, 10am-2pm – Maupin
April 21, 10am-2pm - Parkdale
May 4, 10am-2pm - Moro
May 5, 10am-2pm -  Dufur
Ag Events
May 4, 10am-2pm - Moro
October 31, 10am-2pm – Hood River
November 1, 10am-2pm – The Dalles

Click here for full listing and more info
about our 2018 Hazardous Waste Events.