Nelson is currently at COVID-19 Alert Level 1. Learn more.

Reducing waste at events

Avoiding waste is a great opportunity to enhance the profile of your event and reduce your impact on the environment.

To get you started, have a look at our video of a recent concert at the Trafalgar Centre.

So why reduce waste at events? As well as showing the environment matters, the feedback from visitors and event organisers has been overwhelmingly positive where good waste minimisation is built into the event.

There are many ways to start your journey towards a zero waste event, and solutions can include:

  • Diverting food waste and compostable dishes, etc, to a compost service provider.
  • Designing waste out of your event by eliminating single use and extra packaging at the early planning stage.
  • Consider using reusable items, and solutions such as wash stations on-site.

These great ‘how to’ videos by ‘Beyond the Bin’ will also help you plan and deliver a waste-free event.

Our Guidelines for avoiding or reducing Waste at Events (393KB DOCX) include:

  • Short pre-event waste plan to work out what you need to do to reduce waste
  • Guidelines to share with your stallholders
  • Guidelines for your staff/volunteers to manage waste at your event
  • List of service providers (waste and recycling services, compost service providers, providers of re-usables)

An hour of free support is available to event organisers to complete the pre-event waste plan – email Grants to support waste minimisation at events may also be available – check for current grants.


Understanding what can or cannot be recycled is also important for event organisers.  Check which plastics can be recycled.

Compostable plastics

Compostable plastics can’t be recycled – learn more about how this type of plastic should be used.

You can download signage for bins below:

For further assistance or information email