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  • How the Wrong Event Waste Management Can Ruin Your Festival


    Summer festival season is now in full swing. Any large outdoor event requires careful planning and preparation – from catering to security and everything in between. Whether you’re hosting a large annual music festival or a small community get together, it’s vitally important to find a reliable waste management partner. After all, you want festivalgoers to be discussing the acts on stage, not the pungent smell coming from the bins!

    Keep reading to discover how you can effectively manage waste at your upcoming outdoor event, paving the way for a cleaner and more eco-friendly experience.

    Festival Waste Facts & Statistics

    • According to Powerful Thinking’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ report, UK music festivals with camping generate approximately 25,800 tonnes of waste each year. 68% of this waste goes directly to landfill.
    • Glastonbury Festival estimated that around 2,000 tonnes of waste is produced at each year’s event.
    • EighthPlate reported that 400 tonnes of food waste is generated at UK festivals annually, which is the equivalent to around 1 million meals.
    • The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) found that 250,000 tents are discarded at UK music festivals each year. Up to 90% of these end up in landfill.
    • UK music festival attendees only recycle around 30% of all waste generated.

    You can avoid adding to these shocking statistics by following our top tips for responsible waste management…

    Our Top Tips for Responsible Event Waste Management

    Create a Clear Waste Management Plan

    The first step to hosting an environmentally responsible event is creating a clear waste management plan. Information such as the site location, ticket sales, maximum capacity, the amount of vendors and staff on site, and any statistics from previous events can help inform your plan. 

    You’ll need to establish the types and amount of waste you expect to produce and evaluate your current event waste disposal systems. Then, you can create realistic goals that will help to manage event waste, which can be measured by key performance indicators (KPIs).

    Choose Your Event Recycling Bins 

    Once you have a clear waste management plan, you can choose which bins will best suit your event. All containers need to be completely secure, as this will prevent waste from escaping in the wind, getting wet from the rain, and experiencing any other external damage. 

    Many festival sites opt for bins of varying sizes to help suit all requirements. You could consider placing smaller wheelie bins onsite for visitors to use, which can be emptied into larger bins located backstage. Here at McCarthy Marland, we offer a wide range of wheelie bins for hire in sizes ranging from 240 litres to 1100 litres.

    Prioritise Waste Segregation

    Prevent littering and encourage recycling by setting up separate bins for waste disposal. Use different coloured bins and make sure they are clearly marked according to the type of waste i.e. food waste, plastics, cardboard. 

    Signs should be distributed throughout the site to point towards recycling bins. We recommend placing event recycling bins next to general waste bins, as visitors will be more likely to think twice before discarding any materials. Focus on keeping these areas tidy, as festivalgoers who see litter on the floor will be likely to follow suit. 

    Arrange Waste Deliveries & Collections

    All bin deliveries should be booked well in advance of the festival. This will ensure they are placed on site in plenty of time, minimising the disruption caused to site setup. 

    Commercial waste collections should then be carefully arranged to suit the needs of your event; for example, collection services for one-day events should be arranged for the following day, but multi-day festivals will require collections throughout the weekend. These should be booked for quieter periods when access routes are likely to be clearer, avoiding delays and potential additional costs.

    Implement Sustainability Initiatives

    Finally, you should spend some time implementing sustainability initiatives that will encourage visitors to dispose of their waste in a responsible manner. For example, many vendors now provide reusable cups that can be exchanged for money if returned to the bar. You could also ban specific materials such as glass bottles, as this will ensure that all waste brought into site can be sustainably disposed of. 

    Ensure that all incentives are clearly outlined within any relevant marketing channels, such as leaflets, social media posts, and promotional videos. 

    Responsible Wheelie Bin Services for Your Event

    Searching for a reliable waste management partner for your upcoming festival? Look no further than McCarthy Marland. We provide a comprehensive range of event waste management services, including wheelie bins, to sites across the south-west, allowing us to remove, recycle and dispose of all waste in an environmentally friendly manner. Get in touch via to discuss your event management requirements today.

    How the Wrong Event Waste Management Can Ruin Your Festival
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