Waste Management

All events will produce some degree of waste. It is essential that those working at the event and those attending should have ample provision to dispose of their waste responsibly.


You may find that putting out recycling bins that are clearly marked with what should be put in them is all the encouragement many people need to dispose of their waste responsibly. Many recycling opportunities are easy to predict; if a fun run has been by an energy drink company then there will almost certainly be a large number of plastic bottles at the end of the event. These can be easily recycled and arrangements for this should be made prior to the event. 
Each borough may have a slightly different recycling plan and they will expect your event to fall into line with. It is the responsibility of the event manager to inform themselves of these details which can be found on borough websites, often under the heading of Environmental Services.

Water Supplies & Disposal

It is common place for larger events and those that involve the preparation and sale of food, that a water supply will be needed. This will be required for drinking, cooking/food preparation and personal cleanliness (hand washing). Again, a mains water supply will be the most practical, cost effective and environmentally sound solution. A policy governing responsible water usage and disposal should be devised prior to making arrangements with anyone who may require the use of a water supply. When considering your water supply you may want to bare the following in mind:

  • Where no mains water is available, a temporary tank supply may need to be installed.
  • What is the total requirement for water likely to be?
  • Waste water disposal – Is there a mains water drain available or will other arrangements need to be made?
  • How will water consumption/responsible disposal be monitored and by who?

Chemical Pollution

You should avoid the use of hazardous substances where possible. If however they are an intrinsic element of your event then appropriate storage and management policies should be in place.

  • You should inform and be advised by your local Environmental Health office as to what measures you will be obligated to employ.
  • A contingency plan should be put together detailing what to do in the event of a substance spillage. This should be distributed and explained to all those who will be in close proximity to a potentially hazardous substance.
  • Used cooking oil is a potentially hazardous substance commonly found at events. It should be made clear to any traders/caterers that the responsibility lies with them to remove all used oil from the event site and dispose of it in the appropriate manner. The local authority will be able to inform you of any requirement with regard the need for protective floor coverings.

Human Pollution/Sewage

Human waste issues, often caused by public urination, can be problematic at larger outdoor events. It is however a problem that be planned for in advance and therefore minimized.

  • Use a reputable hire company for your sanitation requirements.
  • Clarify exactly what they will supply and what their maintenance responsibilities will be.
  • Be realistic about your predicted attendance numbers and your requirements; insufficient sanitation will lead to an increase in human pollution/sewage.
  • Make sure that all toilet sites are clearly sign posted; it’s no good having enough of them if people can’t find them.
  • Stewards/security staff should be fully briefed as to the whereabouts of all sanitation sites and actively discourage the use of anything but the designated sanitation facilities.