Waste Handling and Recycling at Municipal Holiday Events

By Solus Group Marketing Team December 17, 2018

Municipal holiday events are one of the year’s best community-building tools for cities and towns of every size. But when you gather large groups of people in outdoor spaces for a fabulous celebration, you create lots of waste. It’s the organizer’s job to handle all of that waste, gathering it from distinct collection points, bringing it to bulk hoppers, and hiring haulers to bring it to materials recovery facilities, city composters, or landfills.

The good news is that there are simple ways to make this process as easy as possible. With a little pre-planning and the right combination of equipment, every municipality can celebrate the holidays in style — without leaving behind a huge mess in their wake. Here’s how.

Make a detailed map locating all waste collection stations.

As a general rule of thumb, plan on .1 gallon of landfill-bound waste and the same volume of recycling for each guest in attendance. So if you expect 1,000 attendees at your holiday party, plan for seven or eight 32-gallon trash cans — and more if you have multiple food/refreshment stations on the event campus. You’ll need more, smaller bins if you plan to include a separate compost stream. Place these receptacles in groups strategically around the event grounds.  

Clearly mark waste receptacles for each end destination.

Always place waste, recycling, and composting bins side by side. Omitting any one of these options is a recipe for contamination. Clear, easy-to-read signage with visual examples will help cut down on recyclables in the waste bins, and vice versa.

Choose a turnkey solution for waste handling during the event.

Event organizers often struggle with providing adequate waste-handling staff for holiday parties, particularly those that take place outdoors in a large area. Luckily, there’s a collection of equipment that can allow a single user to conduct all waste-handling tasks safely and efficiently. Elements of this system include the following:

The advantages of this system are clear. Service providers can store Bins, the Power Pusher, and the Dumpmaster within the roll-off dumpster for delivery to the event site. On arrival, they set Mobile Bins at each waste-collection point. When a Bin fills, a single staff member can use the Power Pusher to safely transport the Bin to the (now-empty) roll-off dumpster. Then, the same staff person can use the Bin Tipper to empty Bins into the dumpster.

Add a version of this system for each waste stream, and you can accomplish an entire event’s total waste-handling with a staff of just one person per dumpster.

While many municipalities recognize the ROI benefits of owning such a system for year-round events, others prefer to pay a waste-handling service that owns its own equipment to service large holiday parties. Still others rent the equipment.

Whichever method you choose, proper planning and a combination of Mobile Bins, Power Pushers, and Bin Tippers can keep your waste-handling staff demands as low as possible during municipal holiday events, without compromising on productivity or safety.


Recycling/Composting/Trash.Seattle. City of Seattle, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2018.

Waste Connections, Event Lending Library.WCNorthwest. Waste Connections of Washington, Inc., n.d. PDF. 14 Nov. 2018. 

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