Hosting a Zero Waste Event
Robin Orr, Event Outreach Coordinator
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CSWD is committed to reducing wasted materials everywhere. We offer assistance to community groups, businesses, schools and anyone hosting a wedding, party or other event in Chittenden County. There are many considerations that go into hosting a “zero-waste” event, and we are here to help.
Planning a waste-free event
- Choose reusable plates, utensils, cups and packaging whenever possible.
- If it is not possible to use reusable items, choose recyclable or compostable containers or minimally packaged goods instead.
- Confirm what can and cannot be recycled or composted and communicate it with everybody involved in the event, including vendors and attendees.
- Create “sorting stations” with one recycling bin, one compost container and one trash can at each. This makes it easy for guests to sort their materials properly. Our event waste reduction handout (Keep Your Event Out of the Landfill!) has best practice information on number and placement of bins.
- Make sure the recycling and composting options are promoted and clearly marked during the event to encourage proper use of all the containers.
- Plan ahead, and if needed, hire pick up services for proper collection and disposal of recycling, trash and compostables. Drop-Off Centers accept up to 1 cubic yard each of recycling and trash and up to 30 gallons of compostables.
- Staff waste stations with trained Waste Warrior volunteers. Even better, have your own event staff and/or volunteers become trained as Waste Warriors!
Print signs for events
PDF files are in the Event Waste Reduction Tools section at right.
Borrow containers for events
CSWD will lend free recycling and/or compost collection bins, plus one bag per bin*, to make your next Chittenden County event zero-waste. (For short-term events only. If you need bins for extended use, please consider purchasing bins with our Container Grants.)
What to do
- Submit the online Event Bin Reservation Form to request your bins. Requests are fulfilled on a first-come, first-reserved basis. We will contact you to confirm availability or get more information once we receive your form.
- Pick up the bins at CSWD administrative offices (1021 Redmond Rd., Williston)
- Provide a clearly labeled recycling and composting bin (if used) next to every trash can.
- Keep track of the number of bags of trash, recycling and compostables collected.
- Dispose of recyclables and compostables appropriately (see options below)
- Return cleaned bins to CSWD and report event attendance and waste produced so we can track how much material this program keeps out of our landfills.
The most popular containers are shown below. Larger (23-gallon) carts for food scraps are also available.
Disposal options (the after-party)
Note: Always empty recyclables out of plastic bags into dumpsters or roll-off containers. Recycling facilities do not accept plastic bags or filmy plastic of any kind.
Hire a private hauler
Contract with one of the trash & recycling haulers in Chittenden County for pickup of your event waste.
Drop off small quantities
Bring materials to a CSWD Drop-Off Center if you have less than
- 1 cubic yard of blue bin recycling
- 1 cubic yard of trash
- 30 gallons of compostables (about two of our 13 gallon food scrap containers)
Fees may apply
Drop off large quantities
If you have more than the limits above, you must bring them to a facility that accepts large loads of that material. Fees apply.