Published On: June 14, 2024Categories: Event Planning, Event Sustainability

The Importance of Waste Management Signage

What bin does this coffee cup go into?

Disposable coffee cup held in front of a garbage and recycling bin

The answer: It depends.

It depends on where you’re located and it depends on what waste management company is responsible for the bin. When it comes to waste management, it varies from city to city and company to company. For example, black plastic is not recyclable in the City of Toronto, but in the Region of Peel (Mississauga & Brampton), it is. No wonder it’s so confusing for the average person and event attendee to know which bin to toss their items!

As event professionals and even as an event attendee, we want to do better. We know to reduce our environmental impact, we need divert as much as possible from landfill.

We all want to do better, but we can’t when it’s simply confusing.

If it’s so confusing, how can we possibly do this? The answer, effective signage.

By simply creating signs with the EXACT items available at your event, majority of your event attendees, vendors and staff will know exactly where to toss disposables. While some sorting at the end of the event, it’s quite minimal. See this example when I was leaving the movie theatre at Cineplex!

Blue recycling, black garbage and green organics bins with proper signage labelling

Here’s How

So how can you properly manage the waste at your next event? Here are the exact steps I used when managing Jenny Jay’s COMING HOME | A Photography Art Exhibit & Community Panel event.

  1. I asked the venue, what sort of waste management was available on-site?
    • Only recycling and garbage was available
  2. I sourced another vendor to collect and dispose of compostable items
  3. Given the client’s budget and resources, we decided to use single-use items that were already on hand
  4. I searched what these items were made of
  5. I use the City of Toronto’s Waste Wizard to see what was accepted into each bin
  6. I created custom signage, using the actual items and labelled each bin on-site accordingly

Two signs showcasing where to place items behind a garbage, recycling and organics bins

Result: We diverted 54% of waste away from landfill!

So remember that its important to connect the dots between what sort of waste you might have on-site, what bins are available, what is accepted into each bin and how you can reduce the confusion with effective signage.

Need support with developing a waste management strategy for your next event? Book a FREE 30-minute No Obligation Discovery Call with us to see if we’re the right fit in working together!

Leave A Comment