When organising an event, especially an outdoor event, one of your top priorities should always be waste management. No matter how big or small your event, there will always be waste. However, if you have an effective waste management plan, you can reduce the damage to your image and more importantly, the environment.
In 2015, 46,000 concerts worldwide sold approximately 60 million plastic water bottles and about 130 million items of paper waste. Unfortunately, for events with poor waste management strategies, much of that waste ends up strewn across the ground, spread even further afield by wind and scavenging animals like birds or rats.
If you are planning an event, spend as much time as necessary to ensure that waste is managed efficiently. Not only will this encourage attendees to return for future repeats of the event, but it will also protect the environment.
When planning your event, keep the following practices in mind.
Contact Your Local Council for Assistance
Before your event, get in touch with your local council and notify them of your plans to host an event. Your council can provide assistance in the form of recycling bags, recycling signage and advice on how to manage waste.
Consider Recruiting Volunteers to Manage Waste
Volunteers can be recruited from wide variety of sources. You simply need to be creative in your recruitment practices. For example, students can be recruited from schools as was the case in one very successful waste management endeavour in Nigeria which used secondary school student volunteers to collect rubbish.
When choosing your sources, also consider implementing a rewards system that gives volunteers an extra incentive, such as offering coupons, free food, refreshments and tickets to a future event, etc.
Hire a Waste Management Company
If your budget allows for it, you could simply hire a waste management service to take care of waste management and disposal responsibilities. Nowadays, a typical waste management service will provide you with recycling stations and bins for rubbish disposal.
Getting commercial skip bins should help you have enough bins for any trash or recyclable items. Just make sure each bin is clearly labelled.
Identify and Implement Plans for Waste Hot Spots
Working with a waste management service, or with volunteers, you should identify the places where you attendees will be most likely to dispose of their rubbish.
- How long it might take the average person to finish their food or drink whilst walking to an area of your event, and place your bins and recycling stations accordingly.
- Assigning volunteers to areas where rubbish is most likely to build up, such as near food stalls.
- Arranging for bins bags to be taken and replaced throughout the event, at specific times of the day.
You could also provide environmentally-friendly cups, such as cups made of clay or paper, as plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose.
Also ensure that whilst marketing your event, you educate your potential attendees on the importance of recycling and managing waste. If planned well, your event may even encourage attendees to become more aware of the importance of waste recycling outside of your event, in their own daily lives.