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Event recycling


Whether you are planning a village show or a large festival, thinking about how you are going to handle any waste is really important. Any waste generated by an event is commercial waste and, as the event organiser, you have a duty of care, by law, to ensure the waste is disposed of correctly.

As will all commercial household-like waste, all recyclable items must be separated from the residual rubbish and collected and transported by a registered waste management company.

Find out more about how to separate the waste from your event in our workplace recycling section.

Find out more about your duty of care for the waste from your event on the Natural Resources Wales (NRW) website.

A list of registered waste management companies with waste carriers' licences, like Powys Commercial Recycling, is available on the NRW website

Waste reduction

Recycling at your event is a legal requirement, however reducing and preventing waste are just as, if not more, important to help reduce your impact on the environment and potentially save money.

A quick search online will give you lots of ideas on how to plan a sustainable event, but here are a few quick ways to help reduce waste at your event:

  • Work together with everyone (stall holders, caterers, visitors, etc) at the event to reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • Discourage single use/disposable items (remember that most single use plastic and polystyrene items are banned in Wales).
  • Promote your event as sustainable and encourage visitors to help reduce, reuse and recycle.
  • Ask people to bring reusable drinking bottles and travel mugs.
  • Introduce a deposit and return scheme for reusable cups, crockery and cutlery.
  • If possible, request that people (stall holders, caterers, visitors, etc) take their waste home with them.
  • Do not allow any balloon releases or sky lanterns.

Find a registered waste carrier

Waste and recycling generated from your event must be separated in accordance with the new workplace recycling regulations [Tab 3] and collected by a registered waste management company with a waste carriers licence, like Powys Commercial Recycling.

You can check to see if a management company has a waste carriers' licence on the NRW website licences section

Always get a waste transfer note from the waste management company for your waste and recycling and keep safe for a minimum of two years. See our managing your waste section for more information.

Recycling containers and signage

Will your chosen waste management company provide bins for your event? If not, you will need to source your own and add appropriate signage.

Remember that all waste and recycling must be separated into the following groups/containers:

  • Food (MUST NOT contain any packaging, plates, cutlery or napkins)
  • Paper and card (can be collected together)
  • Glass
  • Metal, plastic and cartons (can be collected together)
  • Residual waste (non-recyclable waste)

Unless you want to sort through and separate the waste post-event, make sure you have separate containers/bins for each type of recycling/waste.

Try and group the recycling bins together with clear signage to make it easy for people to recycle their waste into the correct containers. Make sure you have enough containers for the event and that they can be kept tidy and emptied when necessary.

Making sure all bins and signage look consistent will help reinforce recycling messages at the event and make it easier for people to recognise where and how to recycle. Keep information simple and visual to avoid any language barriers and to make it easier for people to understand.

Ensure all staff, caterers and stall holders know before the start of the event, what can be recycled and where to put it. They can also help by signposting customers and visitors or even have simple messages on their stall about recycling.

If you have enough staff or volunteers, set up waste wardens around bin areas to give advice and ensure waste is recycled properly.

Post event clean up

You will need to clean up any litter generated as a result of the event, separate any recycling and dispose appropriately. You are also responsible for clearing up any litter blown outside the immediate boundaries of the event. 

If you are a community group, you may be able to loan litter picking equipment for your event from one of the Powys litter picking hubs. Find your nearest one on the Keep Wales Tidy website.

Get in touch

Powys Commercial Recycling can provide a range of recycling and waste bins for your event and collect and dispose of all correctly separated waste and recycling. 

Whether you are planning a small community event or a large festive, if you would like a no obligation quote, please get in touch.

Phone: 01597 810829