Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Event Recycling 101

Recycling is the final option before the landfill and one that can still have an impact on your economic bottom line.  It is essential to the environmental bottom line and cannot be stressed enough.  It is also becoming one of the easiest initiatives to request and implement.

Consider how much money you can save on waste hauling charges.  Traditionally, show organizers are charged for hauling away waste from the event.  Your first haul may be free, and then the rest are typically charged at the local rate.  This charge can be from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on where the venue is located.  Avoid paying this fee by both reducing what is brought onsite and increasing the percentage of materials recycled.

The Top Two Tips to make your recycling program a success are:

  1. Choose a destination with a recycling infrastructure in place, this is a key decision that will make your work implementing a recycling program much easier.  During the request for proposal process ask the recycling questions, tour the facility, learn what is involved and what is possible.  It is possible to set up a recycling system in a facility or city that currently doesn't have one, but it is much more time consuming.  And none of us have any extra time, right?
  2. Use volunteers to maximize recycling efforts.  Managing the waste stream can be complex.  For the participant in a hurry to dispose of an item, very difficult indeed. One way to significantly increase your event's recycling numbers is to use "green angels" stationed by the recycling area to assist people with selecting the right bin.  Statistics and experience show us their impact, over and over again.  Sponsoring these volunteers is also a great sponsorship opportunity for many organizations who want their name associated with "feel good, look good!"

Photo courtesy of UUA General Assembly.

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