Event Waste Management Plan Guide

Community events are great, but they can generate a lot of waste.

Working with our partner councils South Wairarapa District Council has produced a guide to support your event planning.

A new bylaw came into effect on 25 January 2022 to help manage and minimise solid waste which would normally go to landfill. Event waste management will be a requirement from one year after the bylaw came into effect.

If you are expecting 1000 people or more, then you need to put together an event management and minimisation plan and post-event waste analysis report.

The plan will need to detail what volume and types of waste are expected, and what steps are being taken to minimise waste going to landfill.

Regular recreational activities do not need to complete this.

The plan needs to be submitted to Council for approval at least 30 working days before the event starts.

If your event is smaller than 1000 people, then it’s still good practice to complete a plan to help you minimise your event’s waste.

This brochure offers some additional great advice on reducing waste.

What to think about:

  • Put bins together in stations
  • Make a site plan, think about bin placement
  • Think about the number of people that will attend the event; it’s better to have more bins than not enough
  • How often will bins need to be emptied?
  • Use good clear signage
  • Promote waste minimisation, keep messages clear and concise.
  • Think about having a person at each bin stations so people can be advised on the right bins to use.
  • Volunteers will act as ambassadors for your event, look after them.

Your pre-event report will need to include:

  • Anticipated types of waste generated at the event
  • Estimated amount of waste by type
  • Estimated amount of waste diverted from landfill
  • Waste management facilities to be used

How much waste will my event generate?
This depends on factors such as:

  • Type of event
  • Length of event
  • Number of people expected
  • Types of stalls and activities
  • What material you allow to be taken in.

How is the waste generated?
Waste can come from several sources.

  • Setting up and packing down – pallets, cardboard, strapping, shrink wrap, etc
  • Front of house- Food and beverage packaging
  • Back of house- boxes, cans, plastic wrap, containers – this could generate a lot of rubbish so you may need to manage it separately due to the amount of waste generated.
  • Ensure vendors remove bulky packaging items from the event, suggest they return them to the manufacturer

This is a great opportunity to educate vendors about recycling and waste.

How to reduce waste at your event

The issue with events is that there will be a lot of different businesses and organisations bringing all sorts of items they need. You will need to advise any stallholders that are coming to your event that they will need to fill out an Event Waste Minimisation and Management Plan.

What do stallholders need to think about?

  • The use of paper or reusable bags rather than plastic
  • Not using plastic of polystyrene containers or cutlery (If using compostable containers, these would need to go to a suitable compostable facility. Be aware that Wairarapa does not have a commercial compost facility)
  • Encouraging reusable cups – consider a deposit system for these.

Site Plan
This plan should show the following:

  • Location of food and beverage vendors
  • Location of waste and recycling stations
  • Location of any area used to consolidate recycling or waste
  • Location of access points for collection vehicles
  • Location of waste minimisation and recycling signage

How did it go?
Make sure you discuss what worked well and what didn’t, this information can be shared with all those involved in your event.


  • Record the stations that had poorly distributed waste such as rubbish in the recycling bins or recycling in the rubbish bins.
  • Record where rubbish was a problem. This will help determine where more bins were needed or whether they needed emptying more often.
  • Request feedback from vendors and the public.
  • Add up the number of bags/bins that were collected to determine waste/ recycling generated.
  • PLAN how you are going to measure waste collected before the event begins.
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