The first step to adopting sustainable thinking into the way you manage event waste is understanding the environmental impact a large-scale event can have.
An average music festival produces over 23,500 tons of waste. This includes items like programs, tickets, flyers, booths, signs, food, water bottles, and shopping bags, which may build up before organisers can recognise the problem and plan for efficient waste disposal.
It may seem daunting to try and align your environmental concerns with your marketing and budgeting aims, but if you incorporate sustainable practices into your planning from the beginning, you can add value to your brand. This will also reflect a strong message of corporate responsibility and help you show that sustainability is important to you and your team and that your brand cares.
What Effects on the Environment Do Industry Events Have?
Waste is one of the most visible environmental impacts of a major event. However, it is difficult to measure the volume, nature and destination of waste associated with an event because it is generated by a variety of sources, including venues, local authorities, organisers, suppliers, spectators and participants.
Making a Practical Plan For Waste Management
If you want to be successful in managing waste for your event, start planning as early as possible. Appoint someone within your organisation to be responsible for waste, and decide what your goals are.
This could include reducing taking a zero waste to landfill approach, increasing recycling rates, minimising vehicle movements and collections, and educating event staff, suppliers and visitors about the importance of recycling. Being recognised as an organisation or event that cares about the environment can also help you to be welcomed back in future.
Collecting post-event recycling data can also help you to measure the improvements to your environmental impact and your financial savings made, allowing you to set future goals.
Evaluation and Event Management
A key step in the planning process is to evaluate the amount and composition of waste that will be produced. This information is necessary in order to identify the most appropriate method of waste management.
It’s important to know how much waste is generated at an event, as well as the composition of the waste, in order to determine the number and type of containers and staffing that will be needed. The management and hauling of waste in the jurisdiction where the event will be held is also important to consider. The costs for trash and recycling containers, hauling, disposal, recycling, and labour should also be taken into account. Finally, it’s also important to consider what materials can be recycled and what recycling opportunities exist in the community.
These can all help you manage your event’s waste more effectively and sustainably.
Simplify Waste Collection
It’s not enough to just have bins at your event – you also need to make sure attendees know how to identify them so they can dispose of their waste properly. Most events have several different types of bins, from recycling bins to trash cans. Make sure the bins are easy to distinguish so people will know where to put their trash.
The best way to manage waste at any event is to ensure that there are an adequate number of garbage cans spaced evenly throughout the venue. A good rule of thumb is to have one garbage can for every 50 feet.
The easier you make waste disposal for attendees, the more likely they are to actually dispose of their waste properly. This in turn makes waste pickup much easier for staff.
Rely on an Events Waste Management Service
Working with an event waste management service can take the pressure off your shoulders. A specialised waste management service can evaluate your waste management needs, make a practical plan for your event and help you simplify your waste collection to keep it as green as possible. They may be able to offer innovative solutions tailored for your event.
For example, Bywaters have worked together with the O2 Arena to ensure that each event’s waste management is streamlined. Not only has this helped the venue stay clean and easy to manage, but the increased efficiency has made it significantly for the venue to stay more environmentally friendly, with larger waste loads being transported using less space and thereby reducing CO2 emissions.
Event waste management can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many providers that can help manage your recycling and waste services, tailored specifically for events, so you can focus on what’s important: putting on a great show.