Waste Management Plan

A waste management plan identifies waste streams produced from on-site operations and takes into consideration locally available infrastructure. 

BLUE ACTION: Create an overarching waste management plan.

When creating your waste management plan: 

  1. Identify local waste management partners and haulers you can trust to properly and transparently handle your waste streams including compost and recycling.
    • Verify that waste haulers can accommodate composting and recycling needs.
    • For venues: Invest in an on-site waste treatment technology like a composter if the venue is large enough. 
  2. Designate a sustainability lead responsible for overseeing the waste management strategy and implementation, working with all relevant team members and external waste haulers. 
    • For festivals / large events: Recruit volunteers for a ‘Green Team’. 
    • Green Teams can be posted at waste stations to oversee sorting.
    • Waste can be collected in a one-bin system by green teams or staff to sort compostables or recyclables post-collection. 
  3. Optimize bin design and placement.
    • For venues: Invest in proper bin infrastructure on-site.
    • Ensure that the selected bins match the waste streams your event is producing, and estimate the amount of waste produced in each stream. “Right-sizing” bins and appropriate frequency of collection is both cost-saving and more efficient.  
    • Always pair bins together so that compost/recycling/landfill bins are adjacent to each other to improve sorting and reduce contamination. If bins are separated, most attendees will not travel to sort their waste, especially in crowded or highly trafficked areas. Contaminated waste streams are often compromised and must be sent to landfill or incineration.
    • For camping events: Provide waste management infrastructure at campsites. 
      1. Standardize collection bins and provide the same waste management services as for the event grounds.
  4. Use clear signage (including visuals of common items used during activation) to indicate the different bins for composting/recycling/landfill to reduce contamination.
  5. Create drop-off areas for the disposal of specific items such as tents, bicycles, costumes etc. which you can then donate to refugees, community centres, schools or local non-profits. 


California Roots Festival has been successful by creating a green team for sorting!

  • Each year, an estimated 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK, of which the majority are taken to landfills. The average tent weighs 3.5kg and is mostly made of plastic – the equivalent of 8,750 straws or 250 pint cups. It’s been reported that tents make up 17% of waste from UK festivals that ends up in landfills.