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Hosting a Zero Waste Event


Kat Moody, Community Outreach Coordinator
802-872-8100 x239
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Beginning 1/1/22: Compostable foodware no longer accepted. Click for details. 

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

  1. Choose reusable plates, utensils, cups and packaging whenever possible.
  2. If it is not possible to use reusable items, choose recyclable containers or minimally packaged goods instead. Compostable containers are not accepted at CSWD’s Organics Recycling Facility, where we make Green Mountain Compost. Those items must go in the trash. For details about what we accept for composting, see our March 18, 2021 blog post on compostable foodware.
  3. Confirm what can and cannot be recycled or composted and communicate it with everybody involved in the event, including vendors and attendees.
  4. 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.
  5. Make sure the recycling and composting options are promoted and clearly marked during the event to encourage proper use of all the containers.
  6. 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.
  7. Staff waste stations with trained Waste Warrior volunteers. Even better, have your own event staff and/or volunteers become trained as Waste Warriors!

Contact us if you have questions or would like to work with one of our Outreach and Education Coordinators.

Print signs for events

PDF files are in the Event Waste Reduction Tools section at right.

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
    Fees apply
  • 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.