Three Tips to Keep Your Event Clean

Events of all kind are a way to bring the community together. Whether it’s the East Providence Bold Point Concert Series, the Newport Folk Festival, or the Jamestown Road Race — any gathering large or small is bound to leave a trace. From scattered plastic bottles, to overflowing bins and leftover food wrappers, waste collection is an important ‘behind the scenes’ job to ensure trash doesn’t become the focus of the big day. As part of Mega’s commitment to keeping our community sanitary and spotless, we supply waste disposal and recycling services for several of Rhode Island’s events throughout the year.

Planning is key! To help you arrange ample and suitable recycling and waste opportunities for a clean and green event, we’ve outlined the top 3 tips for event disposal.

Map out the event site

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the easiest way to prevent littering at an event is to make it convenient for the attendees to throw the trash away. Drafting up a blueprint of the event site is crucial to understanding where you should place recycling and garbage containers. As you look at your map, highlight the major areas of waste generation. These areas include souvenir stands, food and beverage concessions, seating areas, restrooms, parking lots, entry/exit points, and shipping/receiving docks. Placing enough containers in those areas where walking traffic is heavy, is the best way to mitigate littering around the event. Just make sure to keep an eye on when containers get too full!

Determine what waste will be generated

Another phase of the planning process involves determining what kind of trash will be generated at your event. This will help you figure out what collection methods will be needed and how you can plan your recycling efforts accordingly.

Waste materials most commonly generated at large events are:

Paper products (pamphlets, flyers, brochures, tickets, napkins, and receipts)
Keep paper waste clean and dry so you can recycle
Reduce paper waste by printing any collateral on both sides, sending receipts electronically, or making venue map or program guide accessible online.
Plastics (bags, straws, beverage containers, wrap)
Offer hydration stations or pitchers of water instead of single-use bottles
2018 was the year of the plastic straw ban. Ask vendors to ditch the plastic and provide a reusable or naturally compostable option.
Wood waste and corrugated cardboard (wood pallets, lumber, old stage props)
Pallets can be sold, reused for shipping, or returned to vendor
Donate old stage props to local schools or community theaters
Flatten and set empty boxes aside for recycling

Need additional information on what can and can’t be recycled? Check out this useful infographic from Recycle Together RI.

Prepare for the amount of people

If the event is expecting 500 people over a day or 50,000 people over three days, your waste disposal plan needs to be able to handle the crowd. The size of the event will determine whether bins are sufficient, or if you’ll need dumpsters.

When planning what types of containers will encourage successful waste disposal from your attendees, clear communication is important. Garbage bins and recycling containers should be visually different. Bright colors or odd shapes work, as well as clear bins, so people can see the recyclable materials verses the waste. To further prevent confusion, mark recyclable containers (cardboard, cans, paper, plastic, etc) with labels. Based on the event demographic, it may also be useful to use bilingual signs or graphics.

Events can be challenging when it comes to waste disposal, recycling and reduction. Mega Disposal is proud to provide the recycling and disposal services for events big and small across the state. Whether it’s the Volvo Ocean Race, the Bristol Fourth of July Music Series, or the Newport Jazz Festival, we’re keeping community events clean, so the big day doesn’t go to waste.

If you have any questions on our event services, please call (866) 420-6342 or email us at