Zero Waste Events

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Many social gatherings such as parties, picnics and concerts increase the amount of waste generated because additional food and disposable items such as plates, cups, silverware and napkins are used.

For large events that need a City permit, event hosts must provide a Zero Waste Event Plan in accordance with AB 2176: Venue and Event Waste Reduction.


Simple Tips to Reduce Event Waste

  • Buy items in bulk so there is less packaging.
  • Make a reusable picnic basket or portable lunch case to take with you.
  • Use reusable cups, plates, napkins and utensils.  They add character to your event.
  • Encourage vendors to reduce the number of give-away items at event tables.  Many of them are thrown away.  Larger more substantial raffle items are a way to reduce trash and keep the interest of event attendees (gift cards are perfect giveaway items)
  • Look into a food bank for donating your left over event food such as the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
  • Take food scraps home for composting

Maximize Event Waste Diversion

Set up stations for attendees to recycle, compost and discard trash. These individual containers can then be emptied into larger bins/carts provided by Integrated Waste Management.


  • Place three containers (trash, recyclables and organics) out together as a set where event attendees get a visual picture about separating their waste.
  • Empty material collected in event containers into larger carts/bins for pickup.
  • Have a staff member at each set of containers sets to provide guidance and answer questions about where material should be placed by attendees.
  • Provide vendors a recycling handout before the event with detailed recycling program instructions.
  • Vendors should place broken pallets into designated organics recycling carts. If vendors leave behind cardboard and pallets, event staff can pick it up and recycle or require a deposit for event vendors that require area clean-up.
  • Biodegradable plastics are not accepted at the location that processes the organics.  Please use paper or cardboard products whenever possible.  Soiled paper and cardboard products can be placed into the organics recycling containers.  
  • You can also ask vendors to avoid the use of plastic utensils, cups and plates by serving food on napkins instead. 

Materials should be collected in the following matter:

  • Trash
    • Disposable Diapers
    • Chip Bags
    • Plastic Utensils
    • Plastic Cups
  • Recycle
    • Rigid plastic
    • Aluminum Tin, Metal & Bi-Metal Cans
    • Beverage Cartons
    • Cardboard
    • Glass Bottles & Jars
    • Paper
    • Scrap Metal
  • Composting
    • Fruit and Vegetable Scraps
    • Coffee Grounds & Filters
    • Paper Soiled with Food (Pizza boxes, Paper Plates, Coffee Cups, etc.)
    • Tea Bags
    • Yard Trimmings
    • Grass Clippings
    • Chipped Branches

To use our bins/carts for your event or if you have any additional questions, please call the Integrated Waste Management Division at (818) 548-3916.


Just celebrating with family? Host a Zero Waste Picnic!