Plan for responsible waste management

At least 2 months before the event.

In the event plan, provide a Waste Management Plan that describes how you will manage rubbish and recycling at your event.

The Waste Management Plan should include:

  • plans for reducing litter on and adjacent to the site (including communications before and announcements during the event)
  • plans for delivering and collecting additional wheelie bins and skips for both landfill and recycling, and contractor details
  • numbers and site locations of both landfill and recycling bins
  • plans for signage and bin labelling
  • communications, direction and support provided to stallholders and food vendors about the use and disposal/recycling of plastic bags, cups and utensils, and polystyrene, as well as the encouragement of the investigation and use of alternatives
  • details of team members allocated to cleaning the site after the event – removing all litter and cleaning up any spills or breakages
  • the person with overall responsibility for waste management and cleanup
  • event day contact details for people responsible.

How much waste will my event generate?

Expect to generate one litre of waste per person per meal.

This varies with the type of event. Food and wine events may generate more waste per person than other events.


1,000 people = 1,000 litres of estimated waste
Divide 1,000 by 240 litres (per wheelie bin)
Hire 4 wheelie bins (2 recycling and 2 landfill) … plus one more to be sure.

If you expect more than 100 guests and are serving food or alcohol, you will probably need to hire additional wheelie bins for landfill and recycling.

Food and beverages outdoors

Serving food or beverages increases the amount of waste to manage.

Sustainability principles for greener events

All events generate some waste. However, there are many ways to run a 'zero waste event' such as:

  • providing or asking attendees to bring their own reusable plates, cups, napkins and cutlery
  • providing jugs of water/drinks or supply a drinking fountain with reusable cups
  • avoiding single-use plastics, such as straws, plastic condiments, water bottles, plastic bags, coffee tubes and balloons  
  • setting up a station with clear signage to collect all organic waste to go to compost or into your green waste bin
  • having recycling bins with very clear signage
  • using 100% recycled plastic bin bags

By planning ahead and incorporating waste management initiatives into your event you will be helping to protect our environment and waterways from littering.

Attach your Waste Management Plan to your event plan. Then go to the next step